Original Space Jam Director Not Impressed With A New Legacy Sequel: “LeBron Ain’t Michael”

Joe Pytka, the commercial film director who helmed the original Space Jam film, was not impressed with its Lebron James-led sequel.

Source: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Warner Bros. Pictures

As first reported by TMZ, who reached out to the director for his opinion on the recently released Space Jam: A New Legacy, Pytka found the film so boring that it took him five separate viewing sessions to finish watching the two-hour long Warner Bros. ad.

Source: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Warner Bros. Pictures YouTube

According to the director, the film’s main weakness is that while Jordan, at the time of the original Space Jam’s production, was one of the of biggest celebrities in general, James’ current sole claim to fame is his position as one of the top basketball players in the world.

“The truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael,” said Pytka.

Source: Space Jam (1997), Warner Bros. Entertainment

However, LeBron’s lesser star power compared to Jordan was only one of Pytka’s issues with the new film.

Comparing the plot of his film to A New Legacy, Pytka observed that the sequel failed to give audiences a “personal connection” to James, converse to how the original explored the Chicago Bulls superstar’s personal life in the wake of his retirement from the NBA in favor of joining the MLB.

He also asserted that his original Space Jam boasted a “far superior” supporting cast in then-current NBA superstars such as Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, and Muggsy Bogues, and co-stars Wayne Knight and Bill Murray, further noting that he could not remember “one thing” any of A New Legacy’s cast did.

Source: Space Jam (1997), Warner Bros. Entertainment

Quickly mentioning that he found A New Legacy’s soundtrack to be “insignificant” compared to the original’s, Pytka soon turned to reveal that his biggest complaint about the sequel was the “heartbreaking” treatment the film gave to Warner Bros. ostensible mascot, Bugs Bunny.

Explaining that the version of Bugs seen in A New Legacy had no visual connection any of his previous depictions, a detail the original team played close attention to, Pytka observed that the CG version of Bugs “looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long.”

Source: Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021), Warner Bros. Entertainment

Acknowledging that his own film was, like the sequel, near universally panned by critics upon its release before later becoming a cult classic, Pytka concluded his discussion with TMZ by clarifying that he’s not angry about A New Legacy’s existence – “He just thinks it sucks.”

What do you make of Pytka’s take on Space Jam: A New Legacy? Let us know your thoughts on social media or in the comments down below!

Spencer Baculi

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