Ebersols Aboard To Produce And Script Warner Bros’ ‘Space Jam 2′ As A Starring Vehicle For LeBron James
What’s up, doc? A broken nose. Ouch! After he recovers from the injury suffered in last night’s game, NBA MVP LeBron James will be ready for his close-up — with Bugs Bunny.
Broadcasting veteran Dick Ebersol‘s sons have come on board to develop the sequel to 1996 animated/live-action hit Space Jam as a starring vehicle for James, the Miami Heat Miami Heat Media Day - Miamistar who broke his nose during last night’s game against the Oklahoma City when the Thunder’s Serge Ibaka got him in the face after a dunk.
Another Space Jam film? Why not? The first film, which broke ground for Warner Bros and starred then-Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan and a slew of other top NBA players, ended up grossing $230M worldwide for the studio and even launched a kids TV series.
Charlie Ebersol, who already has a good relationship with the NFL through his NFL Characters Unite series on USA Network, is about ready to do the same with the NBA. He has been brought on to the produce the picture through his production company, The Company, from a script by his brother Willie Ebersol. The latter won an Emmy for the London Olympics. This is his first screenplay.
Jon Berg is production executive on the project at Warner Bros. I well remember when the studio produced the first one and delighted in the fact that top NBA players including Larry Bird, Patrick Ewing, Charles Barkley, Danny Ainge, Tyron “Muggsy” Bogues, Vlade Divac, Cedric Ceballos, Larry Johnson, Shawn Bradley and Paul West all did deals to be part of the film during a key basketball game between their trademark characters. The film also included sports commentators Ahmad Rashad and Jim Rome as well as NBA coach Del Harris.
This one should be equally power-charged with NBA players and beloved Warner Bros characters — a fun departure from the more serious fare Charlie Ebersol has been involved with.
Space Jam 2 marks Charlie Ebersol’s first major film deal as he is best known for unscripted TV such as The Moment, about second chances for people who are given the opportunity to reclaim their career dreams after their lives have taken an unexpected turn. Ebersol’s first film was the 2006 documentary Ithuteng: Never Stop Learning, which received wide critical acclaim and numerous humanitarian awards, such as the inaugural OneXOne Award, at the Toronto Film Festival in 2005. Seriously, what a good guy. Oprah Winfrey reportedly was so moved by his film that she donated $1.14M to the Ithuteng Trust School, an organization dedicated to the positive development and education of at-risk children in South Africa.
This is the second big sequel for Warner Bros that came to light today. The other being The Lego Movie, which they decided to move forward on in only two weeks. The Space Jam took 18 years. Hey, better late than never.