There are a few things we know about the sequel to the 1996 classic film “Space Jam,” which we will tentatively title as “Space Jam 2” because that’s what it’s listed under on IMDB. We know it’s set to star Los Angeles Lakers forward and accomplished thespian LeBron James, that it has started filming for a July 2021 release date, that James has cast an All-Tamper Team as his co-stars and that he built a custom basketball court for them all to practice on during their off-time while on set.
And now, finally and crucially, we know what the jerseys for this revival/sequel are going to look like:
As you can see in the photo comparison below, the Tune Squad jerseys are minimally altered, besides them now being made by Nike (the swoosh near the mannequin’s right shoulder) and the “What’s Up Doc” jersey patch on the left one.
Minimalistic changes makes sense, as those jerseys were classics, integral to the childhood of any basketball fan growing up in the 90s. Warner Bros. basically just had to not screw those up, and it appears they’ve done that.
The Monstars jerseys, however, have undergone quite a bit of alterations, as you can see side-by-side below:
The Monstars have upgraded their style a lot. First of all, is that... blood(?)... on the numbers of their uniforms? If so, wow is this gonna be a MUCH more adult Space Jam, but it also could be supposed to indicate space and a starry sky? It’s probably that, because this is ostensibly a kids movie.
But seriously, it looks like blood.
Second, the Monstars are now sponsored by Nike too, which raises some important questions about the Space Jam Cinematic Universe:
honestly if I'm LeBron and Nike agrees to outfit the Monstars with high-performance equipment for a game which could result in him getting transported to a foreign galaxy I'm gonna be pretty pissed— Rodger Sherman (@rodger) January 22, 2020
Still, it is possible that these are just in-universe knock-offs, as pointed out by the brilliant Ryan Nanni:
why on earth do either of you think the monstars would respect intellectual property law— Ryan Nanni (@celebrityhottub) January 22, 2020
(It’s also possible Nike and James just plan to sell these, and that the Monstars won’t actually have a swoosh on them during the film).
Whatever the real answer is to these questions, I’m sure we’ll learn more as “Space Jam 2” gets closer to a release, but the limited things we’ve seen about the movie give fans of the original plenty of reasons for cautious optimism, these jerseys included.
For a rehash on “Space Jam” to catch you up, you can check out the podcast I did on how it holds up for “Rewind and Reconsider,” a movie podcast I co-host. For more Lakers talk, subscribe to the Silver Screen and Roll podcast feed on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher or Google Podcasts. You can follow me on Twitter at @hmfaigen.