Black Panther's Ryan Coogler producing Space Jam sequel

He shoots, he scores! LeBron James has enlisted the Marvel director to work on the long-awaited comedy follow-up.

Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
CNET freelancer Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Gael Fashingbauer Cooper

1996's Space Jam.

Warner Bros.

Who's ready to hoop it up? Ryan Coogler, who directed the blockbuster hit Black Panther, has signed on to produce the follow-up to Space Jam, the 1996 cult comedy about basketball, Warner Bros. confirmed on Wednesday.

Coogler's name was included in a photo tweeted out Wednesday by SpringHill Entertainment, the entertainment company founded by NBA star LeBron James. The photo shows a basketball locker room with lockers labeled for Bugs Bunny, James, Coogler and Terence Nance, who will direct the film. Justin Lin will serve as executive producer, Warner Bros. said.

Though Warner Bros. confirmed the report, representatives for Coogler and SpringHill didn't respond to requests for comment.

The original Space Jam mixed live action and animation, featuring basketball star Michael Jordan alongside the Looney Tunes cartoon characters. Jordan and James are both global hoops superstars.

"The Space Jam collaboration is so much more than just me and the Looney Tunes getting together and doing this movie," James told The Hollywood Reporter. "It's so much bigger. I'd just love for kids to understand how empowered they can feel and how empowered they can be if they don't just give up on their dreams. And I think Ryan did that for a lot of people."

The new film hasn't got a release date yet. The Hollywood Reporter says that shooting will begin during the NBA offseason in 2019.

First published Sept. 19, 2:06 p.m. PT.

Update, 8 p.m. PT: Adds confirmation from Warner Bros.

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