Director of the new space journey, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Malcolm D. Lee spoke with The Knockturnal at the film’s Celebratory kick-off event this past Friday afternoon. The kick-off event was in partnership with Warner Bros. and Space Jam: New Legacy and was attended by many children and their parents to benefit students with a revamped space to play.
The celebratory kick-off event commenced a full refurbishment of a deserving basketball court in Mae Grant Playground in Harlem. The court will be outfitted with updated nets, backboards and feature a court mural by iconic graffiti artist, Crash. The court is currently curing and will be ready for a full unveiling mid-August! The kick off ceremony was immediately followed by a community block party for all to enjoy with programming from local talent and fun activities!
Check out our interview with the director of Space Jam: New Legacy, Malcolm D. Lee below!
The Knockturnal: First off, huge congrats on directing this film, I know a lot of people are super excited to see it. How would you say your film differs from the original?
Malcolm D. Lee: It’s a different movie. You know, animated movies have really evolved. Since then even hybrid movies have evolved since then. So we want to make sure that we were up to date, modern, taking advantage of all the technology and the digital age that we are in right now. You know, the first Space Jam almost pre-dated email, you know. So, we use a lot of algorithms, the Internet, and social media and incorporate all those things into the movie and our movie is not so much outer space as it is interspace and cyberspace. So it is a very different film. And at our core, it’s a father-son story.
The Knockturnal: What was the casting process like for this, it’s a really great cast. Were you involved in that process at all?
Malcolm D. Lee: Well, I Lebron was already attached by the time I got on board, there were a lot of people who were already attached by the time I got on board. And I thought, you know, between our producers, and the casting director we assembled a really great cast. Plus there’s a lot of great voice talent we were able to cast also behind the scenes with Jeff Bergman and Eric Bauza and Candi Milo who voices all the Loons.
The Knockturnal: For those who have never seen the original Space Jam, how would you describe the world of Space Jam?
Malcolm D. Lee: Space Jam, I would say, it’s a wild ride through the Warner Bros server verse, where you know, you’re gonna encounter lots of iconic Warner Bros characters along with the Looney Tunes, and watch this amazing, epic basketball game. That’s kind of like Rucker Park.
The Knockturnal: And to be able to clean up the park today and revamp it and give all these kids here a nice space to play, what does that mean to you?
Malcolm D. Lee: I think that everybody likes to have a nice place to play. And a nice place to, you know, spend time in a safe way. So it’s beautiful that Warner Brothers and the Space Jam movie have dedicated these legacy courts to this neighborhood and it’s much needed, you know? People want to feel like their valued and want to feel like they’ve got a place to call their own. So I think it’s a beautiful thing.
The Knockturnal: It’s really incredible. And what do you hope people take away from the film?
Malcolm D. Lee: First and foremost, I want them to have a great time at the movie theater. You know, it’s been so long since we’ve been able to do that. You know, as friends, family, as strangers, as neighbors to have a shared experience in the movie theater. It’s a wild ride. It’s a lot of fun. And it’s a great message for families, particularly parents and children and the main message is to be yourself.