All summer, questions surrounded LeBron James. In sports circles, everyone wondered who he’d recruit the Lakers, ultimately winding up with Anthony Davis and DeMarcus Cousins. For those of us who give equal merit to LeBron’s movie career, the question was, who would join him in Space Jam 2. We’re still waiting for confirmation on which NBA stars will lace up for the sequel (it is a sequel, right?), but LeBron does have his first Oscar-nominated co-star, as Don Cheadle has signed on to play an undisclosed role in the follow-up to the 1996 movie that paired Michael Jordan with Bugs Bunny.
Terence Nance is directing the Warner Bros. movie, which has been described as a reboot of the studio’s classic Looney Tunes franchise. Ryan Coogler is producing alongside James and his Spring Hill Entertainment partner Maverick Carter, as well as Duncan Henderson. Justin Lin is executive producing with Sev Ohanian and Jamal Henderson.
Will Cheadle be this movie’s Bill Murray? Will he be a coach, or, in the ultimate power move, could he be playing an owner? Either way, Cheadle’s appearance in Space Jam 2 is more than welcome on this end, because we don’t see early enough of him on the big screen outside of an iron suit. Cheadle is one of America’s finest actors, and if you look at his feature output this decade, he has appeared in seven Marvel movies, three non-Marvel movies — Miles Ahead, Flight and The Guard — and a Kevin Hart concert film, in which he played himself.
I suppose that makes me even more grateful for Showtime, which has been keeping him busy of late. I’m exaggerating here, but I must be one of 10 people watching Black Monday, the ’80s comedy starring Cheadle an an eccentric Wall Street hustler. I never really took to Cheadle’s Marty Katz on his previous Showtime series, House of Lies, but his performance as the unpredictable Mo Monroe on Black Monday is a joy to behold. If Cheadle keeps this up, Mo could join the haloed Showtime ranks of Nancy, Hank and Dexter, so if you haven’t given that series a chance yet, I suggest you check it out — though I fully admit, it’s not for everyone.
Cheadle is coming off of the box office behemoth Avengers: Endgame, and he’ll soon be seen in the second season of Black Monday, which will debut in early 2020. He’s also set to star alongside Emily Mortimer and Helena Howard in the upcoming sci-fi drama series Don’t Look Deeper that will debut on Jeffrey Katzenberg’s short-form video platform Quibi.
Space Jam 2 is currently in production, and Warner Bros. will release the movie in the middle of the NBA off-season on July 16, 2021. Who knows–LeBron could have two more rings by then, and War Machine could have his own Disney+ series. Deadline broke the news of Cheadle’s casting.