Back before the NBA season resumed and the Lakers won the championship, during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, LeBron James was openly wishing he could bring basketball fans a different type of joy. He was watching how much people enjoyed being able to watch “The Last Dance” at home and having a new basketball movie to watch, and he said he wanted to do the same thing with the sequel/reboot to “Space Jam” he was starring in, which we now know will be called “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”
Unfortunately, the movie wasn’t ready yet.
“During this time right now, I wish we could release it right now, man, and give people some things to watch in their households. But we got until next year, next summer. We’re excited about it,” James said then.
But while James isn’t ultimately going to be able to give us the movie early, Warner Bros. is fulfilling the second part of his wish: You will be able to watch it at home. The company announced in a press release on Thursday that their entire 2021 slate of movies will come simultaneously to theaters and HBO Max.
Today, the Warner Bros. Pictures Group announced that it has committed to releasing its 2021 film slate via a unique, consumer-focused distribution model in which Warner Bros. will continue to exhibit the films theatrically worldwide, while adding an exclusive one month access period on the HBO Max streaming platform in the U.S. concurrent with the film’s domestic release.
Warner Bros. Pictures Group’s 2021 expected* release slate currently includes The Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Godzilla vs. Kong, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Suicide Squad, Reminiscence, Malignant, Dune, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho and Matrix 4.
This is great news, even if it’s far away, especially if you — like me and many others — are still (justifiably) apprehensive about returning to movie theaters anytime soon, but also just because having the option to watch a new movie from your couch is always going to be great. Going to theaters is fun during normal times, but sometimes you just want to kick back and relax at home, so no matter how you feel about returning to theaters, it’s cool that subscribers to HBO Max will have this option, and it will be fascinating to see if this changes the way movies are released forever.
There is still no trailer for James’ star vehicle, but we do know (Warning: Possible spoilers at these links link) what the plot will reportedly center on and who is playing the villain, as well as that (unfortunately) both Frank Vogel and Alex Caruso say they will not be in it. There were originally whispers that LeBron would reveal the next step for his career in the movie, but his recent two-year, $85 million extension that will keep him a Laker through 2023 presumably puts those rumors to bed.
“Space Jam: A New Legacy” is currently slated to release on July 16, and now we know that we can watch it from home then, too.