Space Jam 2 starring LeBron James is set to premiere on Friday, July 16th and anticipation is high!
We caught up with the director Malcolm D. Lee, who is best known for directing The Best Man and Girl’s Trip, at the Court Tune Up at Mae Grant Park in Harlem, New York.
The Court Tune Up was a two-day Space Jam-themed block party celebrating legacy court coming to the playground and the release of the movie.
Malcolm D. Lee has been putting in work for over two decades and although Space Jam 2 marks his first animation film, he admits “there’s no way I would’ve been able to make this movie” without his prior experience.
Malcolm D. Lee talks LeBron James’ future in acting, names his favorite Looney Tune character, and gave The Best Man fans an update on the upcoming television series adaptation.
Read the full interview below:
Miss2Bees: Don Cheadle said that LeBron James delivered an Oscar-worthy performance. Do you agree with this statement?
Malcolm D. Lee: Oscar-worthy? I mean, he’s really good. I mean, LeBron is a tremendous talent. I think he’s got a lot of range. So I, what I will say is, I don’t think this is going to be his last movie and it’ll be well-deserved.
MS2B: I believe this marks your first time working on animation, right? Were there any difficulties that you faced?
MDL: A lot! I mean, you know, just, just, you know, not knowing the process of animation and how it works and visual effects. I was very intimidated by that, but, you know, once I understood what all it was about and how the process works, I was all in. And I just felt like, you know these are just storytelling tools that are in the filmmakers’ toolbox. So I was very glad to, you know, get past the veil of mystery and say, ‘oh, okay. This is how this works.’ And so fortunately I had like some of the best people in the business, working with me, both on the animation side at Warner animation group, as well as ILM (Industrial Light and Magic). So, you know, having them there kind of showing me the ropes, this was like, oh, okay. But if I hadn’t had 10 movies under my belt and 20 years of experience, there’s no way I would’ve been able to make this movie.
MS2B: Was the most fun moment of making this movie?
MDL: You know, I, I think I would say it’s not necessarily when I was shooting, because it was very, very tough. I would say it’s when every time we would do a visual effects review and see where we were progressing with our characters or with our world building, it was amazing. It was like, it was like Christmas on my birthday, seeing how the film kept getting more and more elevated with each pass that we would do. So I think that was, that was most of the dirt.
MS2B: Who is your favorite Looney tune? Character,
MDL: Daffy duck. That’s my dude, man. Like, you know, he’s sarcastic and he’s droll. You always got a plan to make money. It doesn’t always work out. Um, he’s just, he’s, he’s the funniest to me.
MS2B: So we don’t have too much time left, but you have been in the game for a long time, contributed to Hollywood with The Best Man and Girls Trip. Do you plan to be a part of The Best Man television series?
MDL: Of course, I’m spearheading it. That series doesn’t happen without me.
MS2B: What’s the progress on that? Can we get any exclusive insight on that project?
MDL: We’re starting our writer’s room very, very soon. And we start filming in, uh, February.
MS2B: I am curious to know, will Terrence Howard to be a part of it? Because he announced his retirement right after Empire ended.
MDL: He is retired, but he’s coming out of retirement for this good.
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