Space Jam: New Legend, Don Cheadle didn't play basketball with LeBron James

Space Jam: New Legend, Don Cheadle didn't play basketball with LeBron James

Space Jam

Don Cheadle, the undisputed star of Marvel (The Avengers), is one of the most famous names to appear in Space Jam: New Legend, a direct follow-up to the historic 1996 film, Space Jam, starring Michael Jordan, set to be released on July 16 in America. , while he will land in Italy in September.

Don Cheadle, despite having spent a lot of time on the set together with LeBron James, also known by the acronym LBJ and with various nicknames including King James and The Chosen One, star of the NBA, and considered one of the best basketball players of all time, he never played basketball with him. Why? It is Don Cheadle himself who explains the reasons. And the explanation is simpler than expected.

What was not allowed on the set of Space Jam: New Legend

Behind why Don Cheadle never played basketball with the star LeBron James is that, the latter, is practically a brand in itself that is worth hundreds of millions of dollars. For this reason, too many extra activities, including basketball games, were frowned upon on the set of Space Jam: New Legend to avoid any risk of injury.

These are the words of Don Cheadle:

“I wish I'd been able to play with him, just to do it, just to have that experience. But you know, I think the title everyone was definitely looking for was 'LeBron James gets injured on the set of Space Jam 2 during a basketball game'. We didn't. Even in the film, when it was decided, he shot firmly to the basket and smashed, we had techno-cranes and extras standing around him, and photographic equipment. They were all very nervous. "

About Space Jam: New Legend

Space Jam: New Legend is directed by Malcolm D. Lee and will retain the classic mix of CGI and live-action. Many characters return even if some of them have undergone a makeover.

The cast of Space Jam: New Legends also features Don Cheadle (The Avengers), Khris Davis (Judas and the Black Messiah), Sonequa Martin-Green (The Walking Dead), newcomer Cedric Joe, Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza and Zendaya (Malcolm & Marie, Spider-Man Homecoming).

This is the official synopsis:

During a trip to the studios of Warner Bros., NBA superstar LeBron James and his son are accidentally trapped in a world that contains all the stories and characters of Warner herself, under the control of an omnipotent and malfunctioning force called Al G (played by Don Cheadle). With the help of Bugs Bunny, LeBron must navigate a world never imagined before, filled with iconic movie scenes and characters as they rally the Looney Tunes to rescue his missing son. Now to return home, Lebron and the Tunes must unravel Al G’s mysterious plan and win an epic basketball game against the NBA’s super digitized versions and WNBA’s biggest stars as the world watches.

The film will be released in US theaters, and simultaneously on HBO Max starting July 16, 2021.

Retrieve the Space Jam DVD available on Amazon!

'Space Jam: A New Legacy' burning questions: Is that LeBron James' mansion? And his real family?

NBA legend LeBron James spends most of 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' trapped in the 'server-verse' of the Warner Bros. Studios computer system after being kidnapped by the unhinged villain Al G. Rhythm (Don Cheadle).

These movie beats, for sure, are not based on James' real life. Even the bit where animated James turns into superhero Robin is fictional (James would so transform to Batman!).

But the movie's at-home elements, such as at James' rocking mansion with that blue basketball court and his loving onscreen family, seem as if they could be real. Here's what's true and what's not true about James' life in 'Space Jam' (in theaters and HBO Max).

Jammed in review: Even with LeBron James and Bugs Bunny, 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' is no slam dunk

LeBron James' 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' home, as seen in the first trailer.

Does LeBron James own that mansion with the high-tech blue basketball court?

In the 1996 original 'Space Jam,' Michael Jordan was portrayed living in a neighborhood house on a tree-lined street, with his bulldog Charles love-attacking him as he walks up the front steps.

James' 'New Legacy' mansion has been supersized, eye-popping from the outside, with sweeping views of the city and a stunning blue basketball court with cool gadgets.

But no, it's not even one of the Lakers star's several homes. James has two Brentwood, Los Angeles residences, purchased for $21 million and $23 million, according to the Los Angeles Times, who reported in 2020 that the NBA superstar also bought a nearby Mediterranean-style Beverly Hills compound for $36.75 million — with two guest houses and a screening room.

The movie's blue basketball court was built over a tennis court near Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. It had the desired wow effect on Cedric Joe, who plays James' son Dom. 'When I saw that court, I was speechless,' says Joe.

'We felt it was a great nod to the lifestyle (LeBron James) has earned and achieved,' says director Malcolm D. Lee.

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And the basketball passing machine that responds to James' voice commands for speedy assists does not exist. Yet. 'I'm sure when it is on the market, LeBron will be the first to get it,' says Lee.

LeBron James' family also gets pulled into the 'server-verse' in 'Space Jam.' They watch their father play in a high-stakes basketball game. (L-R) Harper Leigh Alexander as Xosha James, Sonequa Martin-Green as Kamiyah James and Ceyair J Wright as Darius James

Is LeBron James' real family in 'Space Jam'?

Jordan's family and real kids were not in the original, however their names (Jeffrey, Marcus, and Jasmine) were used. 'New Legacy' features actors portraying James' family, with different names to highlight the fictional storyline.

The real 'James Gang,' as James affectionately calls them, includes daughter Zhuri Nova, 6, sons Bryce Maximus James, 14, and LeBron 'Bronny' James Jr., 16, with wife Savannah James. James walked the carpet with Zhuri and Savannah at the Los Angeles 'Space Jam' premiere earlier this month.

Onscreen, the family includes Ceyair J Wright as older brother Darius, Harper Leigh Alexander is daughter Xosha James and Sonequa Martin-Green as James' screen wife, Kamiyah.

There was never a discussion about using James' real family, even for smaller roles in the fictional story. 'LeBron's playing a version of himself. It would have been tough for him to play that role (with his real family),' Lee says.

Cedric Joe as Dom James in 'Space Jam: A New Legacy.'

Did LeBron's 'New Legacy' son meet LeBron's real son?

In his film debut playing James' youngest son Dom, 16-year-old Joe watched in awe as his screen dad effortlessly shot multiple takes of an alley-oop scene ('he was jumping so high each time like it was nothing. Mind-blowing') and bonded over occasional shoot-around. 'I beat him in a free throw contest, my free throw game is really good,' says Joe.

James never gave him advice about playing the fictional storyline of a son more interested in video game programming than basketball. Nor did 5-foot-8 Joe meet 6-foot-1 high school basketball star Bryce, James' younger son, before filming.

The two met at a Disneyland press event for 'New Legacy.'

'I introduced myself and took some pictures,' says Joe. ' I realized that Bryce is a lot taller than I thought.'

Does LeBron sign his kids name on his shoes?

A pivotal 'Space Jam' moment centers around James discussing how he inscribes his children's names on his shoes before a game. This is true. James has made the most out of packing hand-written messages on his size 16 basketball shoes, adding names, phrases and acronyms.

Straightforward callouts highlight his three children ('Bronny, Bryce, Zhuri' or the 'James Gang'), along with mother Gloria and wife Savannah, respectively dubbed 'Mama James' and 'Queen James,'

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 'Space Jam': A New legacy': Is that LeBron James' real court, family?

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