Not a lot is known about Space Jam 2 at this point, aside from the fact that it features LeBron James in the lead role, with Ryan Coogler set to produce. But now actor Paul Scheer, who will also be in the film, has revealed during an episode of the Clip City podcast that Don Cheadle will play a villain the movie.
“Actually Don Cheadle, who I do ‘Black Monday’ with, he’s the bad guy in ‘Space Jam,’ and he said LeBron’s really great. He was great in ‘Train Wreck’ too.”
It was previously hypothesized that Cheadle would be appearing as a celebrity friend of LeBron James, in much the same way as Bill Murray in the original Space Jam. But recently when asked about the role, Cheadle had said he could not comment on ‘what’ he could be playing.
Cheadle’s comment, coupled with what Scheer said, makes it likely that Don Cheadle will be a member of the MonStars cartoon alien basketball team that challenges Lebron James’ team. Or he could be playing their alien manager, the role played by Danny Devito in the original film.
Either way, chances are high that Cheadle will do voice-over work instead of actually appearing in the movie. Fans who know Cheadle from the MCU or from films like Hotel Rwanda may not know he has also dipped his toes in the world of voice acting. He was the voice of Donald Duck in the Ducktales reboot, and voiced Warmachine in a Marvel video game.
The Space Jam sequel/reboot is shaping up to be an interesting proposition. The original film was a box office hit, telling an upbeat tale of basketball legend Michael Jordan teaming up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes characters to win a match against an alien team that has stolen the playing talent of the NBA’s biggest stars.
Scheer’s comment also indicates that LeBron James, who will be replacing Jordan in the movie, is bringing his acting A-game to the role. Previously, the basketball star has appeared in SNL sketches, and had a supporting role in Trainwreck, among other acting credits. James was praised for his chemistry with Bill Hader in Trainwreck, as well as his comic timing, so it is no surprise that he was tapped to play the lead in a new Space Jam movie.
As far as Cheadle is concerned, the actor is keeping himself busy with other projects as well. Now that Iron Man has passed away in the MCU, his mantle should logically pass on to James Rhodes aka War Machine. There have been rumors that a Disney+ show for Cheadle’s character may be in the works, even though there has been no confirmation so far.
With the film industry in lockdown mode, plans for filming the new Space Jam will also probably be pushed back, even though since the movie was scheduled to arrive in theaters next year, it will probably escape the release postponement curse that every major movie is experiencing this year. This comes from The Althletic Podcast.