Zendaya to Voice Lola Bunny in 'Space Jam: A New Legacy' with LeBron James

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistApril 3, 2021

Zendaya arrives at the 25th annual Critics' Choice Awards on Sunday, Jan. 12, 2020, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)
Jordan Strauss/Associated Press

Actress and musician Zendaya will voice the popular Lola Bunny character in the upcoming Space Jam: A New Legacy movie.

Derek Lawrence of Entertainment Weekly exclusively reported the casting choice, which goes hand in hand with director Malcolm D. Lee's stated goal to strengthen the Lola character.

Per Lawrence, Lee expressed concern regarding the portrayal of Lola in the original 1996 Space Jam movie, saying: "Lola was not politically correct. 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."

Lee added: "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. For us, it was, let's ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others."

The changes were apparent in the Space Jam: A New Legacy trailer, which was released to the public Saturday:

In the original Space Jam, Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan was recruited by the Looney Tunes to help them beat The Monstars in basketball game to avoid being enslaved on Moron Mountain.

Space Jam: A New Legacy appears to follow a fairly similar plot line, with Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James teaming up with the Looney Tunes to face a team of baddies in basketball so that LeBron can save his son.

Jordan, the Looney Tunes and Don Cheadle already made for a star-studded cast, and the addition of Zendaya as Lola brings even more star power.

Space Jam: A New Legacy figures to be one of the hottest movies of the year, and it is scheduled to debut July 16 in theaters and on HBO Max.