Space Jam Was Released in Theaters 25 Years Ago Today

    Fans of classic 90s movies certainly remember when Michael Jordan partnered up with Bugs Bunny and friends to take on the Monstars in Space Jam, a monumental coming-together that played out on the big screen 25 years ago today. Directed by Joe Pytka, the live-action/animation hybrid featured Jordan straying from the court for his biggest acting role as a fictionalized version of himself. To this day, it remains one of the greatest sports movies of all time.

    While Jordan served as the main star, several other NBA stars were there to make special appearances, including Larry Bird, Charles Barkley, Patrick Ewing, Shawn Bradley, Larry Johnson, and Muggsy Bogues. As Looney Tunes characters, the voice cast featured Billy West, Dee Bradley Baker, Danny DeVito, Kath Soucie, and Bob Bergen. One cast member who stood out was Bill Murray, also playing himself, with the Ghostbusters star even helping Jordan and the Tune Squad win the big game.


    “Well, I made the movie Space Jam with Michael Jordan, and people forget I got the assist on the game-winning basket. It’s so easily forgotten,” Murray said on Jimmy Kimmel Live last year. “I stole the ball. I made the pass. I got nothing! I wasn’t even interviewed after.”

    Murray then admitted that working on Space Jam was one of the best times he’s ever had, as he even got to play some basketball with NBA legends like Larry Bird and Michael Jordan. Space Jam director Joe Pytka also addressed working with Jordan in an interview with the Los Angeles Times last year, suggesting that the Chicago Bulls superstar was pretty easy to work with as an actor.


    “It was a great experience working with Michael,” Pytka said. “He just rose to the occasion. Anything you would ask him to do, he came through with flying colors. He’s a gifted human being.”

    Of the enduring popularity of Space Jam, Pytka added, “A friend of mine sent me a picture of her 4-year-old son watching it. She said she discovered it on Netflix and showed it to him. He now watches it every day. The French newspaper Le Monde said it was one of the best films to watch during the pandemic because it makes people feel good… Michael is just magnificent.”

    Its reviews were mixed upon its initial release, but Space Jam was a hit at the box office and developed a strong following in subsequent years, serving as one of the most impactful movies of the ’90s. This has led to interest at Warner Bros. to make a sequel, but it’s taken years upon years for that to make traction before it was finally released earlier this year. Space Jam: A New Legacy stars LeBron James in a role similar to Michael Jordan, teaming up with Bugs Bunny for a high-stakes basketball game.


    For many fans of the original, there will be no topping the first Space Jam. A special edition Blu-ray released over the summer to commemorate the 25th anniversary is an easy purchase for especially big fans looking to revisit the movie at any time. You can also stream Space Jam on HBO Max.

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