WHAT: A new ad from Foot Locker that calls back the 1996 Michael Jordan/Bill Murray/Bugs Bunny classic Space Jam.
WHO: Blake Griffin and Jimmy Butler for Foot Locker and Jordan Brand.
WHY WE CARE: Space Jam 2 is the great white whale of family-friendly, ’90s nostalgia, Jordan-branded, basketball-themed live-action/animation hybrid films. We believe it’s out there, but we may never actually see it. Whether or not Lebron James’s reinterpretation of the franchise ever comes to fruition, though, the archetypal struggle of working class basketball players against giant, cartoon Monstars lives on both in memory and now, finally, in a ninety-second short film in which the Monstars return. The ad will premiere tonight during the Clippers/Cavs game (and also during Thursday Night Football), but you can check it out online ahead of schedule. This time around, there’s no Michael Jordan to help out, either. (Or maybe he’s off crying in a corner somewhere.) Instead, after the Monstars come to Earth and take over our basketball courts, the young athletes recruit a ringer of their own–this time, it’s Blake Griffin who steps in along with Bugs Bunny to reclaim the court in a matchup against the insidious ballplaying alien Monstars. The ad runs only a minute and a half, so we don’t get the vital conclusion–who wins?–but a tease at the end from Jimmy Butler suggests that in this version of Space Jam 2, the Tune Squad would be anchored by more solid backup than Bill Murray. (Additionally, you can check out a few teasers starring Butler, as well.) We’ll hold our breath until a feature-length version of the film actually gets made and released, but in the meantime, this is every bit as weirdly satisfying as we’d hope an actual sequel might be.