' ' Cinema Romantico: How Will Casablanca Factor Into Space Jam: A New Legacy?

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

How Will Casablanca Factor Into Space Jam: A New Legacy?

The allegedly long-awaited sequel to “Space Jam”, starring LeBron James in place of Michael Jordan, is set to be released this summer and a recent EW article by Derek Lawrence went long in telling us what to expect. (I was little disappointed this piece did not take the form of a parody of LeBron’s I’m Coming Home Sports Illustrated letter in 2014, but nevertheless.) Honoring the full title “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, LeBron and his son Dom (Cedric Joe) are sucked into a WB server courtesy of a rogue AI (Don Cheadle) and must assemble a squad of Looney Tunes basketball players to escape by defeating the AI’s squad of champions on the digitized hardwood. The detail that most caught the attention of the Film Twitter Cognoscenti, however, was that James “drifts through some of the studio’s most famous films to track down his underdog squad.“ Most famous films? Director Malcolm D. Lee explained: “It was a tricky thing just in terms of what you may want, like, Oh my God, look, there’s Mad Max, and there’s Casablanca!” Hold the phone. “Casablanca”? LeBron James “drifts through” “Casablanca”? How would that work then? What does that entail? True, Lawrence wrote that no titles of movies within movies have been confirmed, but does it not seem suspicious that Lee cited “Casablanca” off the top of his head? Something’s up and Cinema Romantico is here to ask the obvious question: how will “Casablanca” factor into “Space Jam: A New Legacy?” A few guesses:  

Maybe when LeBron is looking for Bugs, or somebody, he suddenly finds himself in “Casablanca”, face-to-face with Captain Louis Renault, asking where he can find Bugs and so Captain Louis Renault says “Tonight he will be at Rick’s. Everybody comes to Rick’s.”

Maybe LeBron inadvertently walks through this shadow in Rick’s office. Then again, “Robin Hood: Men in Tights” already sorta did this.

Maybe you CGI LeBron and his son in place of Victor and Ilsa when they enter Rick’s and so it looks like Sam is flabbergasted to see, you know, an NBA star from the future walking through his place and, oh my God, why am I even doing this?

“Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world she walks into mine” sounds like the perfect time to introduce the Lola Bunny everybody’s been talking about and will someone stop me, please?

“Round up the usual suspects” could induce panic in the scheming Daffy Duck and I guess no one is going to talk me out of this.

If we’re being sacrilege, let’s just be it. Can we just make Sascha a full-fledged accomplice of LeBron? Can you do the Leia thing, the thing they did with Carrie Fisher and Leia at the end of “Rogue One” but with Leonid Kinsky and Sascha? 

When Captain Renault feigns shock at Rick running a gambling operation in order to shut the whole place down maybe LeBron and his son and the Tunes can be in the gambling hall and have to high-tail it out. Or would that besmirch the King’s image?

In the end, I think it has to be this. I think LeBron needs to end up in Rick’s right when Victor cues up La Marseillaise in response to Renault and Strasser and the Nazis singing Die Wacht am Rhein. And LeBron finds himself singing La Marseillaise. Because I think that would fuel enough takes to melt the Internet.  

1 comment:

Sara said...

I'm really looking forward to this movie. I agree that Lebron has got to end up in Rick's!