Space Jam: A New Legacy is adding even more star power.
The sequel, this time revolving around LeBron James instead of Michael Jordan, has added Zendaya, 24, to voice the iconic cartoon character Lola Bunny.
The move comes as director Malcolm D. Lee hopes to make Lola more of a powerful character than her depiction in the 1996 original.
“Lola was not politically correct,” he told Entertainment Weekly of the version in the 1996 film. “This is a kids’ movie, why is she in a crop top? It just felt unnecessary, but at the same time there’s a long history of that in cartoons.”
This time around, Lee, 51, worked to make Lola “reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters,” and she’ll be introduced alongside the Amazons from the Wonder Woman comics.
“We reworked a lot of things, not only her look, like making sure she had an appropriate length on her shorts and was feminine without being objectified, but gave her a real voice,” he explained. “For us, it was, let’s ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others.”
The first trailer for the sequel, set to hit theaters and HBO Max on July 16, premiered over Easter weekend. James stars as himself and must save his onscreen son Dom after his tech skills get him, and his athlete dad, stuck in an entertainment server.
The trailer follows James, 36, through an array of some of Hollywood’s most recognizable films like Wonder Woman and The Matrix as James tries to track down a “banished” Bugs Bunny.
“It’s one of the biggest games, if not the biggest game, I’ve ever played in,” James told Entertainment Weekly last month. “The Goon Squad is probably the best team ever assembled in basketball history.”
James, who hilariously portrayed himself in 2015’s Trainwreck, told the outlet that he was first approached about a Space Jam reboot 15 years ago but “didn’t think I was ready to do anything of that magnitude.”