The only major casting news about “Space Jam 2” so far — other than that Lakers forward LeBron James will star with several other NBA and WNBA players joining the ensemble — is that “Avengers” actor Don Cheadle would play an unspecified role. It now appears as if Cheadle will be playing the villain in the movie, with the news coming from a somewhat unlikely place.
Actor Paul Scheer — best known for his memorable role as “Andre” in FX’s “The League” — is currently working on Showtime’s “Black Monday” with Cheadle, and during an appearance on the “Clip City” podcast to talk about his Clippers fandom, he let the tidbit about his co-star’s role in “Space Jam 2” slip as an aside in a conversation about Blake Griffin’s acting success (emphasis mine):
“Actually Don Cheadle, who I do ‘Black Monday’ with, he’s the bad guy in ‘Space Jam,’ and he said LeBron’s really great. He was great in ‘Train Wreck’ too.”
That isn’t a lot to go on, but it is enough to theorize a bit.
James and SpringHill Entertainment CEO Maverick Carter have previously emphasized that “Space Jam 2” will “not be a sequel,” and when asked about his role, all Cheadle said was “No, I’m not playing myself. I actually can’t tell you what I’m playing.”
I had previously guessed that Cheadle would be playing the Bill Murray-esque role of LeBron’s celebrity friend in this (seemingly) pseudo-reboot, but given all of the information above about Cheadle being a villain and not saying “what” he’s playing instead of “who,” I think it’s fair to guess he may actually be filling the Danny DeVito/Swackhammer-esque role in the film, voicing either one of the Monstars or their leader.
Again, that’s all conjecture, but it seems like a decent guess based on what we know. For now, these tidbits of information are all we have to go on. At least we won’t have to wait too much longer to learn more, as James recently confirmed that the film is still on target for its June 2021 release date (and will have a “dope” soundtrack to boot).
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.