The new Space Jam has been put under the scrutiny of various contemporary analysts. From those concentrated at the box office, who wonder why such a film should be one of the unexpected successes of the pandemic; Even the criticism that has been in charge of defining it as a great commercial for each license in the possession of Warner Bros. However, the strongest and most daring criticism so far has come from the director of the 1996 original, who ensures that it would not even have to be called Space Jam, when it is not.
It has been well known for years that Joe Pytka, the director of Space Jam (1996) has remained in eternal denial at the idea of a sequel to his film. Even Warner approached him first, but declined the offer when it was taken into consideration that Michael Jordan would certainly not be part of the film. Since then the filmmaker hated the idea and now that Warner has come up with the project anyway, Pytka doesn’t have very happy words to share.
While chatting with EW about Space Jame: A New Era, the director did not hold back his words when referring to a film that took him almost six sessions to finish. For him, the film lacks a very important key point: Michael Jordan.
“I have worked with three people who have this magical quality that affects people no matter what; they see them and something comes on, a light: Michael Jordan, Michael Jackson and Madonna, “he explained. “All three have this quality that people connect with immediately without understanding anything about them. And no one else has that quality. LeBron is a fantastic basketball player, he is one of the 20 greatest basketball players of all time. But it’s not Michael. Maybe they should call it something else. They shouldn’t call it Space Jam 2, or whatever. It should be another movie. It is not Space Jam. Space Jam is Michael Jordan. No matter how much LeBron wants to be a great player, and he’s a great player, he’s not Michael Jordan. There will never be another Michael Jordan.
That was not all. Joe Pytka also briefly touched on the insignificance of the film’s soundtrack and even the character design. For him this three-dimensional and animated version of Bugs Bunny is shocking. He defined it as a kind of approximate to those fluffy stuffed animals that you buy in airport stores so that children can entertain themselves when they have to wait for a flight connection.
Perhaps Pytka forgot that precisely the primary objective of a film like Space Jam is precisely to entertain and sell stuffed animals in the process (among other things). In fact, the original film was an idea that was conceived from an advertisement, we mean a commercial where Michael Jordan shared the scene with Bugs Bunny. An entertaining and audacious spot that immediately lit the yellow light in Hollywood.
The director’s aversion to a sequel to his film has been a topic he has talked about extensively for years. On another occasion, around 2016, he also admitted to EW that he did not understand “how a sequel could work.” Obviously the director underestimated Warner completely, although the reality is that he also admitted that deep down he simply did not want such a thing to ever happen: “Besides, I don’t want it to happen. [la película]. That’s probably why, isn’t it?
Currently Space Jam: A New Universe, with or without Joe Pytka’s permission, is the hit of last weekend’s card. Nor has it done so badly in the reproductions of HBO Max, although perhaps a good part of those numbers achieved in streaming, we must thank Pytka for their multiple attempts to see it in full. Good job Pytka, we knew you could be counted on!