Will Michael Jordan Be in ‘Space Jam 2’?

There are two different camps of opinion on what the legacy of 1996’s Space Jam was to pop culture. On one side of the aisle, some think it was a chance to showcase the time period’s best NBA stars in a movie featuring some of the all-time best cartoon characters. On the other side are those who think it was just a feature-length commercial for Nike and pointless family fun.

Perhaps bringing back a prominent cast member will make a difference in the sequel.

This alludes to Michael Jordan who was essentially the star of the original Space Jam alongside Bugs Bunny, et. al. With Space Jam 2 already in production, nobody really knows if Jordan will come back.

Having LeBron James and Michael Jordan together would be historic

Michael Jordan poses with Steve Ballmer and Jeanie Buss at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game
Michael Jordan at the 2018 NBA All-Star Game | Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

With LeBron James already attached to star in Space Jam 2, everyone wants to know if Michael Jordan will be wooed back to the sequel. Having Ryan Coogler as producer and Malcolm D. Lee as director is also a major coup, and it could be better than the original.

Placing Jordan into the mix, though, is a bit of a tough call since he’s been long retired since the first film came out. While seen in public once in a while, he’s kept a low profile while still enjoying partial ownership in the Charlotte Hornets (formerly the Bobcats).

His life is more than peaceful with no need to prove himself in anything for the rest of his life. Luring him back to do a movie would only be for fun on his part. Whether he’d consider doing it just for fun is another thing.

When someone is in the position of Jordan, all media analysts note he can do whatever he wants and has no obligations to anyone. After 23 years, Jordan may not want to showcase his basketball skills in a movie now, unless he still has those skills intact.

It would likely be just a cameo

Nobody would really expect him to take on the large role he did in the first Space Jam. Besides, he’s now 56 years old and probably can’t run the court or shoot baskets like he did in his heyday.

LeBron James is also the star of this sequel, so Jordan would likely take a backseat and cameo. Merely having him appear for a few minutes would provide an emotional connective string to the first movie that really had more of a cultural impact than many remember.

What’s most interesting is that the original Space Jam plot was very meta and made up a story insinuating Jordan played a cosmic basketball game to help win the freedom for the Looney Tunes characters. The event was said to have happened in between his initial NBA retirement in 1993 and his comeback two years later.

In many ways, it was almost an autobiographical movie about Jordan and his own aspirations as a kid. If viewers recall, Jordan is seen in the opening as a young boy dreaming about becoming a basketball star.

The emotional connection might bring Jordan back

Considering how personal Space Jam was to Michael Jordan, he may do the film as a bookend to his career. Whether it’s just a quick cameo or taking part in some sort of final basketball match, it could be worth the effort.

Who wouldn’t want to see Jordan playing some basketball with LeBron James, even if it’s just in a movie? Being able to see Jordan shoot some baskets again for a few minutes would be great to see, assuming he wants to spend extra time playing around with green screens. This process was far more complicated when the first film was made.

Plus, Jordan should just be there to represent, as Ryan Coogler is inspiring a new generation to root for more African-American heroes as the latter did profoundly with Black Panther.