- LeBron James is set to begin production on his sequel to “Space Jam” this summer.
- NBA insider Brian Windhorst said in early April that James was struggling to convince other NBA stars to join the film.
- According to The Hollywood Reporter, one of the reasons James is having difficulty bringing in other big names involves competing shoe brands.
- Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.
LeBron James’ sequel to “Space Jam” is set to begin production this summer, but so far, the Lakers superstar has faced a somewhat surprising challenge with the film – finding other players to join the Toon Squad.
In early April, NBA insider Brian Windhorst said while appearing on ESPN’s “The Jump” that James’ recruiting pitch for the movie was not going as well as he had planned.
According to Brian Windhorst, LeBron James is having trouble convincing players to join him in Space Jam 2 ???? pic.twitter.com/WUrJcoeSy7
— Chris Montano (@gswchris) April 4, 2019
While there are numerous reasons players might be averse to joining the film, according to the Hollywood Reporter, sneaker contracts from some of the league’s top superstars might be the source of some of James’ struggles.
According to the report, stars such as Stephen Curry and James Harden are unlikely to join the cast, and their non-Nike shoe deals are an important factor in their reasoning.
“As to why shoes matter, Nike is essential to the Space Jam franchise. The 1996 first film was based on the ‘Hare Jordan’ commercial directed by Joe Pytka, who also helmed the feature. That makes the involvement of Curry (Under Armour contract through 2024) and Harden (Adidas) nearly impossible, sources say.
The report also says that the already-busy Hollywood schedules of some superstars, specifically Kevin Durant, who is working on a television series of his own for Apple, may also be causing difficulties in recruitment.
James already has plenty of talent on the production side of things, with “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler set to produce and Terence Vance of HBO’s “Random Acts of Flyness” directing.
But whatever production talent James’ has at his sides, he’ll still need some other NBA stars to join him in order for the film to be a success.
- Read more from Tyler Lauletta: