Pop Culture

Every Piece of IP That Appears in ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’

Space Jam: A New Legacy is a 115-minute sequel to the famous 1996 movie starring Michael Jordan, this time with LeBron James. It is also a promotional advertisement for countless Warner Brothers properties. Al-G Rhythm, the sentient Warner Bros algorithm (played by an incredibly game Don Cheadle, who somehow sells every ridiculous line) sucks LeBron and his youngest son into the Warner Bros “Serververse,” where all of the WB-associated characters reside. LeBron enters everything from Mad Max: Fury Road to Casablanca to recruit the Tune Squad for that old Space Jam Dream Team magic. It all culminates with the climactic game, which is a veritable cornucopia of intellectual property, as literally every character in the Serververse (plus Lil Rel) gathers to watch. What follows is a catalog of all the IP GQ could identify in the film.

VARIETY

The magazine makes a very brief cameo, as WB executives played by Sarah Silverman and Steven Yeun try to convince LeBron to use AL-G Rhythm for his own benefit.

BATMAN

Al-G Rhythm pitches a movie where LeBron faces off against Batman, with LeBron dressed as Mr. Freeze. Later during the climactic game, Batman, The Joker, Penguin, a version of the Schwarzenegger Mr. Freeze and various other appear in the audience during the finale.

THE NIKE SWOOSH

In a display of corporate promotion so blatant it’s kind of genuinely funny, the Nike Swoosh appears as a crevice in the Earth made by LeBron when he plummets to Tune World.

STAR TREK

As they zip through the universe recruiting the Tunes, Bugs adopts the name James T. Bunny, an obvious ode to Star Trek.

SUPERMAN

Of all the people for LeBron to encounter but not recruit for his team, Superman may be the most head scratching.

AUSTIN POWERS

Elmer Fudd appears as a Mini-Me stand in. This joke would’ve worked in 2002. It does not work now.

CASABLANCA

In the sequence where Bugs and LeBron go to recruit the Tunes, they find Yosemite Sam. As Sam. FROM CASABLANCA. Kids nowadays love Michael Curtiz, right? And they hate Nazis? Well let’s hope.

MAD MAX: Fury Road

LeBron and Bugs encounter Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner in the middle of a car chase from Fury Road. It is a logical step, given the two are constantly chasing each other, and it does make for a good visual gag. But Mad Max is… R-rated.

THE MATRIX

Speedy Gonzalez and Granny appear as Keanu Reeves clones in a particularly outdated Matrix spoof. There’s a clever callback to this during the finale, but this is an especially weird reference in a movie full of weird references.

THE MALTESE FALCON

Along with Casablanca, this reference serves as a way of showing children the early 20th century was a time that existed.

LORD OF THE RINGS

One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them, One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them; In the Land of The Serververse where the shadows lie

GAME OF THRONES

Hey you know that show where a sister and brother have sex? And the main character gets beheaded? Well that’s in here too! Foghorn Leghorn is fully riding a dragon like Jon Snow when LeBron and co. scoop him up from Thrones World, but whether it was Viserion, Drogon, or Rhaegal is something we’ll leave up to the Reddit sleuths.

RICK AND MORTY

The duo show up and denigrate The Tasmanian Devil.

WONDER WOMAN

Lola Bunny, before returning to the squad, is seen running the Amazonian gauntlet from Wonder Woman: 1984. The scene is actually very impressive, but…what the hell is going on?


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