The reboot of the movie “Space Jam” added a powerful name to its roster.
Zendaya will be joining the cast of “Space Jam: A New Legacy” as Lola Bunny. LeBron James of course stars in the role played by Michael Jordan in the 1996 film. EW broke the news which was later confirmed by the official “Space Jam” Twitter account.
— Space Jam: A New Legacy (@spacejammovie) April 3, 2021
The news came the same day that “Space Jam” dropped its first official trailer.
Director Malcolm D. Lee has previously said he found the depiction of Lola in the original movie to be problematic and sought to make her more “fully-realized” in his version, making Zendaya the perfect choice given her considerable acting chops.
In early June, ESPN aired a mockumentary “30 for 30” titled “The Bunny & The GOAT” promoting the film. In the clip, fans got their first glimpse of Zendaya voicing Lola.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) June 6, 2021
Lee spoke to EW in March about the original movie, which he watched for the first time in 2019, saying, “Lola was not politically correct. This is a kids’ movie, why is she in a crop top? It just felt unnecessary, but at the same time there’s a long history of that in cartoons.”
Lee, perhaps best known for directing “Girls Trip” wanted his version of Lola to “reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters.” He added, “We reworked a lot of things, not only her look, like making sure she had an appropriate length on her shorts and was feminine without being objectified, but gave her a real voice. For us, it was, let’s ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others.”
“Space Jam: A New Legacy” also stars Don Cheadle and is produced by “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler.