LeBron James releases sneak peek of 'Space Jam: A New Legacy'

AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

LeBron James has given fans a new sneak peek at "Space Jam: A New Legacy."

Produced by James and acclaimed "Black Panther" director Ryan Coogler, the sequel to "Space Jam" -- which came out in 1996 and starred Michael Jordan as himself -- is set to be released on July 16.

James released first-look photos as part of an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly in which he also discusses the plot of the upcoming animated comedy and what he hopes to accomplish with the movie.

"In my younger days, part of my thinking was '"Space Jam" was so good, how can I top this?'" James told EW. "There's always going to be conversations about LeBron trying to do everything Michael [did]. But I've gotten older, and you know who you are. You know what you stand for."

"Space Jam: A New Legacy" filmed over the past two NBA offseasons. The plot involves LeBron and his onscreen son attempting to escape a virtual reality by winning a basketball game against a rogue artificial intelligence -- and yes, Bugs Bunny, Lola Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and the rest of the Tune Squad are all part of the movie.

Much like the original, "Space Jam: A New Legacy" will feature cameos from basketball stars, including Klay Thompson, Anthony Davis, Damian Lillard, Chris Paul, Draymond Green, Kyle Kuzma, Diana Taurasi, Nneka Ogwumike and Chiney Ogwumike.

In the interview, James said he passed at first when approached 15 years ago to star in a new Space Jam because he "didn't think I was ready to do anything of that magnitude."

But since then, James' stature on and off the court have risen considerably. He has appeared on "Saturday Night Live," as well as in an episode of "Entourage." In 2013 he launched his own production company, SpringHill Entertainment, with longtime childhood friend Maverick Carter, and began hosting HBO's talk show "The Shop." He then finally appeared on the big screen in the 2015 comedy "Trainwreck" with Amy Schumer, where he plays himself in a few short scenes.

James has also co-founded More Than a Vote, an organization aiming to grow voter registration in the Black community, and opened the I Promise School in his hometown, Akron, Ohio, through the LeBron James Family Foundation.

James has also won four NBA championships since first passing on the sequel to "Space Jam," including most recently in 2020 with the Los Angeles Lakers.