‘LeBron Ain’t Michael’: Original ‘Space Jam’ Director Trashes New Movie

Joe Pytka, the 1996 director of the original film starring NBA superstar Michael Jordan, appears to have abhorred the remake, “Space Jam: A New Legacy,” which debuted on HBO last week and stars LeBron James. Pytka criticized the premise and supporting cast.

Pytka criticized the film thoroughly in an interview with TMZ released Wednesday. Given that the first “Space Jam” has a 44 percent critics rating on Rotten Tomatoes (“New Legacy” has a 30% rating), his statements come off as amusing as Bugs Bunny sticking his fingers in Elmer Fudd’s weapon.

“The truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael,” Pytka told the entertainment website, noting that James is an “incredible athlete and a very good actor”, but in 1996, when his movie was filmed, Jordan was the biggest celebrity in the world, and much of the original was based on MJ’s real life.

According to TMZ, Pytka also struggled to see “New Legacy”; it took him around five tries to get through the full film. He complained that the new film’s Bugs Bunny “has no connection to previous depictions,” adding that the renowned mascot “looked like one of those fluffy dolls you buy at an airport gift shop to bring your kid when your business trip has taken too long.”

Additionally, Pytka believes the reboot’s soundtrack is “insignificant” in comparison to its six-times-platinum predecessor, has a less-than-stellar supporting cast, and has gone so far as to call this incarnation of Bugs Bunny “heartbreaking.”

However, this is not the first time Joe has expressed dissatisfaction with the Space Jam sequel. He actually did it years in advance of the film’s release. He had turned down an offer to direct a sequel starring a different NBA star before LeBron and A New Legacy entered the scene.

And last year, Joe expressed similar sentiments about the sequel, stating that “there will never be another Michael Jordan.”

LeBron has previously addressed the comparisons, having declined the starring role in the past due to his belief that it was too early in his career.