Industrial Light & Magic animation supervisor, Kevin Martel, has confirmed that post-production on the long-awaited Space Jam: A New Legacy has been completed. A follow-up to the Michael Jordan-led 1996 hit, the story will center on NBA champion, LeBron James, as he partners up with the Looney Tunes to defeat rogue A.I. Al-G Rhythm to save the world and bring him and his son back together. Alongside James, the cast for the film includes Don Cheadle, Sonequa Martin-Green, Zendaya, Gabriel Iglesias and Cedric Joe.

Development on a Space Jam sequel first began shortly after the release of the original with Joe Pytka set to return alongside Spike Brandt and Tony Cervone, but eventually fell through due to Jordan’s refusal to come back for another outing. After years spent in development hell, during which spinoffs starring Jeff Gordon, Tiger Woods and Tony Hawk were discussed, the sequel finally gained ground again in 2014 when James signed on to star in the sequel. Though it went through another bumpy few years with directors coming and going, as well as a number of script rewrites, filming finally got underway from June to September 2019.

Martel took to Twitter to announce that post-production on the long-in-development project had finally completed. With just two months left to go and many still working from home due to the ongoing pandemic, Martel thanked his ILM team for their efforts in bringing the movie to life. Martel’s cheeky wrap announcement can be viewed below:

It may come as a shock to some that the animation process went all the way up until just two months were left to the film’s release, but the varying circumstances do make sense. With most animators having worked from home for the past year on the project, their home offices may not have the same technology or the quickest access to editors, supervisors and such. As multiple triple A-level video games, namely CD Projekt Red’s infamous Cyberpunk 2077, showed last year, bringing new and fantastical worlds to life from home is no easy feat.

Adding those factors into the vision of blending both traditional, hand-drawn animation, and CGI also makes for a bit of an extra challenge for the teams of animators working on the film. Owned by Lucasfilm Ltd. and The Walt Disney Company, ILM has been behind some of the biggest blockbusters of the past decade, consistently showing their dedication to their art. With an equally-dedicated team behind the wheel of Space Jam: A New Legacy, fans are sure to be in for a visual treat when the long-awaited sequel hits theaters and HBO Max in July.

Source: Kevin Martel

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