'Space Jam' | Quarantine Film Club (Week 6)
Guten tag, Quarantine Film Clubbers! Sorry that this little update has been delayed for the second week in a row - University has been hectic and, while comparatively unexciting, I've had to prioritize Virginia Woolf over Bugs Bunny for the past few days. Week 6's film was Space Jam (1996), Michael Jordan's star vehicle which hoped to bring some juvenile immaturity to the Roger Rabbit formula.
The 90's were a good time for Michael J's. While Michael Jackson (pre-scandal) dominated the globe with the 1996 HIStory World Tour, Michael Jordan looked set to forge a different kind of legacy. Just before his second (and final) retirement from the NBA, Michael Jordan signed on to make Space Jam - a Looney Tunes x NBA crossover which would go on to help him recruit an even broader fan-base. Space Jam benefited both Warner Bros. and Jordan, the former financially capitalizing off of the athlete's star power and the latter securing his place in American mythology.
The film aimed to be a kind of anti-Disney Roger Rabbit, packed with coarse humour, cartoon violence and the kind of 'edge' contemporarily absent from the House of Mouse. The plot acknowledges this comparison; its plot revolves around a Union-led plan to prevent the Tunes being enslaved by a theme park owner - a direct jab at the Disneyland franchise. Ironically, Space Jam would go on to make it's cable-television debut on ABC, the Disney-owned U.S. television network.
Since the film's release, many attempts have been made at producing a sequel. Jordan refused to sign on for a sequel but titles like Spy Jam and Skate Jam were floated around, eyeing up Jackie Chan and Tony Hawk respectively to take over as lead. It's not hard to see why Warner Bros. were to eager to continue the franchise; since its release, Space Jam has garnered over $6 billion U.S. dollars (through box-office and merchandise sales). Space Jam 2 is set to finally hit screens in 2021, with LeBron James set to star. In a strange coincidence, James actually unveiled the logo for the sequel on his Instagram in the week of our screening. Perhaps he reads the blog?
As I mentioned earlier, the Quarantine Film Club is gonna take another little break. I can't run it with the attention it deserves alongside my other commitments, but this has been such a fun little project and I'm so grateful to everyone who's repeatedly tuned in. If this whole lockdown continues past the end of my exam season then you might just see me pop back up. For now though - it's goodbye (albeit with a lower-case 'g').