Original ‘Space Jam’ Director Dunks on Sequel: ‘LeBron Ain’t Michael’

Joe Pytka says it took him five separate sittings to get through “New Legacy”

Space Jam 2 A New Legacy LeBron James
Warner Bros.

“Space Jam: A New Legacy” hasn’t been a hit for everybody — and apparently that includes the director of the original “Space Jam.” In fact, Joe Pytka has revealed that he has a laundry list of problems the sequel to his 1996 hit.

In comments made to TMZ, Pytka revealed that it actually took him five different sittings to finish “A New Legacy,” rather than watching it all in one two-hour period. His biggest problem with it was mostly its protagonist, LeBron James. In Pytka’s eyes, James didn’t bring enough heart or reality to the film.

“The truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael,” Pytka said.

Then came the matter of star power. Though Pytka noted that MJ’s story in “Space Jam” was clearly based in his actual life — specifically the time period where he temporarily quit basketball to take up major league baseball — lending it more emotional credibility, Jordan was also more famous.

As he put it, Michael Jordan wasn’t just the best basketball player of the time, he was the biggest celebrity in the world. And with that, he brought his celebrity friends, like Charles Barkley, Bill Murray and more. While “Space Jam: A New Legacy” had a similar approach, bringing in pro ballers Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, among others, Pytka said he can’t even remember one thing they did.

Then, Pytka turned his grievances to Bugs Bunny himself, and how he was animated. In the original “Space Jam,” the team reportedly took great care to make sure Bugs Bunny was drawn similarly to how he was in previous cartoons. To Pytka, 2021 Bugs “looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long.”

Warner Brothers did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Pytka’s thrashing of “Space Jam: A New Legacy.”


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