The Space Jam movie from Warner Bros. was a big hit. The wacky basketball film from 1996 successfully mixed live-action and animation to bring together real people like Bill Murray and Michael Jordan and Looney Tunes characters like Bugs Bunny and others.
It made more than $230 million worldwide, and this success no doubt encouraged Warner Bros. to move ahead with another film that mixed live-action with CG Looney Tunes characters, Looney Tunes: Back In Action. The 2003 film was a box office disappointment, however, making only $68 million against a reported production budget of $80 million.
Now, it’s been revealed that Warner Bros. was thinking about yet another live-action/CG hybrid movie. Legendary skateboarder Tony Hawk revealed on Instagram that Warner Bros. approached him to make a skateboarding movie with the tentative title “Skate Jam.” Hawk presumably would have starred in the movie as himself, alongside Bugs Buggy and other Looney Tunes characters just like Space Jam and Back In Action.
The meeting between Hawk and Warner Bros. executives took place before the release of Back In Action. There were discussions about the story and shooting schedules, and Hawk said the studio offered him $1 million up front just for signing on. He said he thought it was as close to a sure thing as ever, but after Back In Action tanked at the box office, Warner Bros. put Skate Jam on hold. It never got mode.
Here’s Hawk’s full statement on the matter:
“In 2003, I was requested to meet with Warner Brothers about doing a film with the Looney Tunes characters that was tentatively titled ‘Skate Jam.’ Their plan was to bring back Bugs, Taz, etc into the cinema with a current release called “Back In Action” and then immediately start working on my project. I was about to leave for a skate trip in Australia so they met me at that iconic dome-shaped restaurant in the middle of LAX before my flight that evening. They were SERIOUS. We talked about storylines and shooting schedules, and they casually mentioned that I would get $1 million up front for signing on. I flew to Sydney that night with a sense of wonder and excitement; I had never met with Hollywood heads and felt so sure about something happening.
“During my week-long trip, ‘Back In Action’ was released in theaters and bombed. By the time I got home, Skate Jam had been “indefinitely postponed” and I never heard about it again. I still think it would have been a hit considering skateboarding’s popularity at the time, and the reverence kids (now young adults) had for Space Jam. This drawing was given to me at a skate demo that Looney Tunes sponsored years before our movie talks began; with Marvin fittingly on a hoverboard.”
While Skate Jam never happened, Warner Bros. is now making Space Jam 2 with LeBron James starring as the equivalent of Michael Jordan from the original, it seems.
Space Jam 2 is being directed by Terence Nance (Random Acts of Flyness), with Black Panther director Ryan Coogler attached to produce.