Why Isn’t Michael Jordan in ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’?
The following post contains minor SPOILERS for Space Jam: A New Legacy, mostly for stuff that doesn’t actually appear in the film.
Just about every single Warner Bros. character since the birth of motion pictures is in Space Jam: A New Legacy. Batman and Robin show up to the final basketball game; the Joker and Penguin are not far away. King Kong and Iron Giant loom in the background, while Hanna Barbera cartoons like the Flintstones hang out at their feet. There’s really just one person who doesn’t show up for this game — which supposedly will determine the fate of the entire world! —and that’s Michael Jordan. And he was the star of the original Space Jam!
So what happened? Director Malcolm D. Lee definitely tried to get Jordan into the film. He told Entertainment Weekly that they pitched a post-credits scene for MJ to film. Here’s what they wanted him to do:
Especially after The Last Dance came out, I was like, we've got to be able to do something, even like a tag at the very end after the credits with Bugs showing him the movie and saying, ‘What do you think, Doc?’ And just Jordan going, ‘I took that very personal.’
Lee tried to make the MJ appearance happen, but it was not to be. "We were holding out hope, but also knew that the likelihood was going to be very remote," he told EW, adding “it would have been fantastic, but our movie is our movie and Space Jam is Space Jam.”
Jordan really was conspicuous by his absence, especially since everyone and their mom had a cameo in Space Jam. Even Michael B. Jordan showed up — which, admittedly, was probably the best joke in the entire movie. Oh well, we’ll always have the original Space Jam. For better or worse. Space Jam: A New Legacy is now in theaters and on HBO Max.