“Welcome to the Space Jam, it’s your chance, do your dance at the Space Jam…” I had to do it. Believe it or not, today marks 20 years since the iconic live-action/cartoon film was released into the atmosphere and changed the game. In honor of this anniversary, here are a few unknown facts about the one of our childhood favorites.
The idea for the movie came after Nike ran a series of ads that featured Bugs Bunny and Michael challenged Marvin the Martian and his alien friends to a basketball game. In the movie though, the Monsters were a bit more menacing than Marvin.
Since the story was largely autobiographical for Michael Jordan, his sons and daughter were also cast in the movie. While the children cast weren’t Jordan’s real children, they did bear his children’s names Jasmine, Jeffrey and Marcus.
Do you remember the very simple HTML sites that people created when the internet first became a thing? If you don’t you can check out the Space Jam site, as it appeared in 1996 when the movie was released.
In one scene, when Wayne Knight, who plays Stan comes in to Michael’s hotel room, he says
“C’mon, Michael, it’s game time. Slip on your Hanes, lace up your Nikes, take your Wheaties and your Gatorade, and we’ll grab a Big Mac on the way to the Ballpark.”
These were the names of products Jordan had endorsed around the time the film was released.
In the movie, Michael talks about wearing his old North Carolina shorts under his Bulls shorts. That was something he really did as a good luck charm.
While Bugs and Lola were amazing together in the movie, it was the first time they were together as a romantic couple.
Anything for Michael
I don’t have to remind you how big Michael Jordan was in the ’90’s. He was at the very tip top of the A list. So it should come as no surprise, that Warner Bros. was willing to spend their good money to keep him happy. They built Jordan his own basketball court to keep him content during the filming of the movie.
The soundtrack featuring R. Kelly’s hit, “I Believe I Can Fly,” Monica’s “For You I Will” and many others, the album went 6x platinum.
The film grossed over $90 million domestically and between $230-$250 million worldwide. As a result, Space Jam became the highest grossing basketball film in history.
In 2014, Warner Bros. announced that they were interested in producing a sequel to the film starring LeBron James. At the time James denied that he would be involved in the project. But later that same year, he was quoted as saying, “I’ve always loved Space Jam. It was one of my favorite movies growing up. If I have the opportunity, it will be great.”
We don’t know exactly where the sequel stands at this point, but today on the 20th anniversary of the film, Warner Bros. released a trailer claiming that the Monstars were back.
And you thought this was over… #MonstarsBack
-The Monstars pic.twitter.com/5xgWGdNsHX
— Monstars (@Jumpman23) November 15, 2016
Veronica Wells is the culture editor at MadameNoire.com. She is also the author of “Bettah Days.” You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter @VDubShrug.