Twenty years ago, moviegoers were transported to an animated world of basketball alongside recognizable Looney Tune characters and one of the NBA’s most prolific players, Michael Jordan. Recently, to celebrate its milestone, the film bounced back into theaters to take viewers on a trip down memory lane. But with talks of introducing a new generation to a sequel version of the movie, Space Jam‘s original director isn’t too pleased with its pending release.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Joe Pytka remained adamant on not showing support for the potential remake. “I think it’s ridiculous to try and make a different movie out of it. I can’t see it,” he said. “I can’t imagine how it could be what that film was. Not that Space Jam is a great movie, but it had something that touched that period of time because of who those athletes were and it doesn’t exist anymore.”
With rumors circulating that LeBron James or Stephen Curry might appear in the film, Pytka shared one simple reason as to why he thinks they can’t fill No. 23’s shoes. “I’ve worked with LeBron and I’ve worked with Steph Curry, and as good as a player LeBron is and as good as a player as Steph Curry is, they’re not Michael Jordan,” he said. “We will never see another player like him. He was a transcendent figure, much like Muhammad Ali. He was beyond his sport. These guys aren’t.”
Pytka also shared that he initially felt Space Jam “was a silly idea,” but it ultimately turned out to become a cult classic. By embarking on this ambitious journey to create the movie, he said the creative team experienced a bit of pushback from Warner Bros., particularly when famed director Spike Lee came on board.
“Spike Lee is a friend of mine and he approached me to do a polish on the script. I thought that Spike would have added some stuff that would have been cooler, but Warner Bros. didn’t want to deal with him because of their issues with him when they did Malcolm X together,” he mentioned. “Remember, Spike got his friends to put money into finishing Malcolm X and the corporation hated the fact that he did that.”
Updates on Space Jam‘s follow-up are still forthcoming.