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Space Jam 2 release date, cast, trailer, Lola Bunny controversy and plot

Space Jam 2 release date, cast, trailer, Lola Bunny controversy and plot
(Image credit: Entertainment Weekly/WB)

Everybody get up, it's time for Space Jam 2. Yes, the long-rumored sequel to the animated 1990s hit is real and we just got our first glance at what it's going to look like. 

We've collected all the details on when and where the new Tune Squad will be lacing up their dunks and how you'll be able to watch online. Oh, and if you're confused about the Lola Bunny controversy, we've got a breakdown explaining that, too. 

Space Jam 2: Release date

Space Jam: A New Legacy arrives on HBO Max and in theaters on July 16, 2021. It's arriving in both at the same time because WarnerMedia has decided it will give HBO Max subscribers an easy way to see its movies at home while theaters aren't the best bet since we're not out of the Covid-19 pandemic yet.

Space Jam: A New Legacy leaves HBO Max 31 days after its July 16 debut. That's the same time window we got for Wonder Woman 1984 and The Little Things. Justice League: The Snyder Cut and Dune are some of the other upcoming blockbuster movies that will open on HBO Max as it hits theaters.

Space Jam 2: Cast

Space Jam 2 has a stellar starting line-up, led by LeBron James himself, with Don Cheadle playing opposite as a "CGI humanoid" (we're curious what that means) named Al G Rhythm. (Algorithm, get it?) The full cast includes:

  • LeBron James as himself
  • Alex Huerta as young LeBron James
  • Don Cheadle as Al-G Rhythm
  • Khris Davis as Malik
  • Sonequa Martin-Green as Kamiyah James
  • Cedric Joe as Dom James
  • Ceyair J. Wright as Darius James
  • Harper Leigh Alexander as Xosha James

The Space Jam 2 voice actors:

  • Eric Bauza as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian, Tweety
  • Jeff Bergman as Sylvester and Foghorn Leghorn
  • Kath Soucie as Lola Bunny
  • Bob Bergen as Porky Pig
  • Gabriel Iglesias as Speedy Gonzales

Athletes making cameos as themselves include:

  • Klay Thompson
  • Anthony Davis
  • Damian Lillard
  • Chris Paul
  • Draymond Green
  • Kyle Kuzma
  • Diana Taurasi
  • Nneka Ogwumike
  • Chiney Ogwumike

Space Jam 2: Trailer

There is no Space Jam 2 trailer yet. Anyone who's sending you a link to one is as trustworthy as Al-G Rhythm.

Space Jam 2: Plot

Space Jam: A New Legacy is about beating the computer at its own games. LeBron James and his son Dom are stuck inside a virtual world — Dom wants to be a video game developer — thanks to the devious machinations of digital goon Al-G Rhythm. And their only way out, it seems is to beat Rhythm's digital baddies in a game of basketball, with the help of Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and the rest of the Looney Tunes gang. 

Space Jam 2: Lola Bunny controversy

When we got the first official look at Space Jam 2, it stirred up a lot of confusion and debate from one of the least likely topics: the body of character Lola Bunny isn't as curvy as it was in the original movie. 

Director Malcolm D. Lee told Entertainment Weekly that "We reworked a lot of things, not only her look, like making sure she had an appropriate length on her shorts and was feminine without being objectified, but gave her a real voice." This has sparked anger, with some on the right blaming liberals and cancel culture for the change. Some fans of the original design are deciding to "fight back" online and recreate the original Lola for themselves, at a sub-reddit that we're not going to link to due to its incredibly NSFW nature.

That said, it's hard to see that Lee's point doesn't have at least one flaw. Lola's body in the original Space Jam wasn't problematic into and of itself — that's not how objectification works. It was how the proverbial camera zoomed in on her, with the male gaze, that objectified her.

Space Jam 2: Pepe LePew controversy

Similarly, Pepe LePew was supposed to be in Space Jam 2, but thoughts about appropriate behavior in a children's movie changed the script. 

Deadline reports that a black-and-white scene set in a bar that looked like Rick's Cafe from Casablanca featured LePew kissing a woman (played by Greice Santo of Jane the Virgin) without her consent, getting slapped and then being educated about consent by LeBron James. We also would see LePew reveal that Penelope the cat had a restraining order filed against him. 

Unsurprisingly, some members of the American right (including James Woods) are angry about the news.