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‘Girls Trip’ Director Malcolm D. Lee Boards ‘Space Jam 2’

“Girls Trip” director Malcolm D. Lee is replacing Terence Nance as director of “Space Jam 2,” starring LeBron James, for Warner Bros. and James’ SpringHill Entertainment.

The departure of Nance, creator of the HBO show “Random Acts of Flyness,” was due to differing visions between Nance and the producers for “Space Jam 2.” Production had been under way before the studio announced Tuesday that Lee had come on board.

Warner Bros. has set a July 16, 2021, date for its live-action/animated sports comedy. Lee’s recent credits include “Girls Trip,” “Night School” and “Barbershop: The Final Cut.”

Don Cheadle is also starring in “Space Jam 2.” The movie marks James’ first major acting role. He played himself in the 2015 Amy Schumer-Bill Hader comedy “Trainwreck.”

Rumors of a “Space Jam” follow-up first emerged in 2015 when James and his company, SpringHill Entertainment, signed a deal with Warner Bros. Justin Lin was in talks to direct in 2016, but that deal did not go through. Lin is an executive producer on the movie.

Michael Jordan teamed up with Bugs Bunny and the rest of the Looney Tunes characters in 1996’s “Space Jam,” which grossed $230 million worldwide. The cast included NBA stars Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, and Patrick Ewing, and the story took place during the time between Jordan’s initial retirement from the NBA in 1993 and his comeback in 1995. Jordan was enlisted by Bugs Bunny and friends to help them win a basketball match against a group of aliens.

“Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler came on board as a producer on the “Space Jam” sequel last year and the state of California has made a $21.8 million conditional tax credit allocation for the project.

Lee is repped by Paradigm and Del, Shaw, Moonves, Tanaka, Finkelstein & Lezcano. The news was first reported by Deadline.

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