LeBron James plays himself in Space Jam: A New Legacy. The sequel involves the whole James family when a computer program (Don Cheadle) kidnaps James’ son and makes him play basketball to free him. Luckily, James has the help of the Looney Tunes. But if it’s the real James, is that his real family in the movie?
James was a guest on the Smartless podcast on July 12. He explained to hosts Sean Hayes, Will Arnett and Jason Bateman who plays his family in Space Jam: The New Legacy, out now in theaters and on HBO Max.
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ cast actors to play LeBron James’ family
James is a legitimate actor now. He did Trainwreck and several TV appearances. However, Sonequa Martin Green plays his wife in Space Jam: A New Legacy. Actors play his kids in the movie, too.
“My whole family stopped by set a few times,” James said. “They’re just like wow. My boys are 16 and 14. They only care about how cool that the person that’s playing them in the movie looks. ‘Dad, does he look like me? Is he wearing my hair style? Is he dressing the right way? I don’t want somebody playing me and not being me.’”
‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’ also changed the names of his family
James agreed it would be better to have actors play his wife and kids. He also agreed they should give them different first names, just to be safe. LeBron James is married to Savannah Brinson. Martin-Green plays Kamiyah James.
“Yes, we cast actors that kind of looked like my family,” James said. “We changed the names but I got an older son, a younger son and a daughter and a wife in the movie.”
James also vetoed giving his children a say in the casting. He let the filmmakers do their jobs. James’ kids are Bronny, Bryce and Zhuri. In the movie they are Dom, Darius and Xosha.
“I didn’t let ‘em because it would’ve took too long,” James said. “I said, ‘Dad gotta go to work.’”
LeBron James joked that his movie family confused him
It must be a whirlwind filming a Space Jam movie. James is already unfamiliar on a movie set, since he spends most of his time on the basketball court. Then he’s on a green screen having to imagine where he is, and which cartoon characters are playing with him. Then he’s got actors pretending to be his wife and kids.
“I almost brought my fictional family home one time,” James joked. “As long as I don’t bring the fictional wife home, I was good.”
The real Zhuri James was excited to see her dad in Space Jam: A New Legacy, though.
“My daughter is super excited about it,” James said. “She’s too young to know about the original toons but now because of her dad she’s getting back into it.”
Source: Smartless podcast