Terrence Nance has been dropped from directing Space Jam 2 after three weeks of filming, according to Deadline. He will be replaced by Malcolm D. Lee, and it remains to be seen if any of the footage shot by Nance will be used in the final cut, or if filming will start from scratch.
The reason’s for Nance’s firing are somewhat vague, although it ultimately came down to different creative visions between him and the studio. He reportedly left the project on good terms, which means there should be no hard feelings between him and Warner Bros.
Regarding his replacement, Lee’s previous films include Undercover Brother, Soul Men, Scary Movie 5, and Night School. Looking at that list, you might be worried about Space Jam 2, although he was also responsible for the acclaimed comedies Roll Bounce and Girls Trip, so it’s not like he’s completely incapable of making good movies.
Space Jam 2 will be the first theatrically released Looney Tunes film since Back in Action in 2003, and will star LeBron James as a fictionalized version of himself as he completes in a basketball tournament alongside the Looney Tunes characters. As well as James, the live-action cast will include Sonequa Martin-Green and Don Cheadle, while Eric Bauza will voice Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.
Directors being dropped from big budget movies after filming begins is nothing new, with one of the most high-profile cases being the removal of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller from Solo: A Star Wars Story after a whole five months of filming. Lucasfilm made a mess of that situation although Ron Howard was still able to salvage the film, so we think Space Jam 2 will be fine. Especially since the release date is still two years away, which should give Warner Bros. plenty of time to make it as good as it can possibly be.
Either way, we’ll know for sure if Nance’s firing had a detrimental effect when Space Jam 2 opens in wide release on July 16, 2021.