A recently uncovered interview has closed the door on some hopeful speculation.
In wake of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in a helicopter crash just six days ago, fans have taken to Twitter in hopes that he will somehow appear in the upcoming movie Space Jam 2. The film, obviously the second of the series, stars NBA star LeBron James and is due out in July 2021. The original Space Jam starred Michael Jordan and was released in 1996 – right at the height of his professional career with the Chicago Bulls.
Considering how tight LeBron James and Kobe Bryant’s friendship was, fans thought it would make a lot of sense if Bryant made a cameo in Space Jam 2.
“I know this is probably the least important question ever,” one Twitter user started, “but was Kobe involved in the Space Jam sequel?” The user didn’t know their question had actually already been answered by Bryant himself in 2018, when Access Online wondered the same thing.
Sorry, Space-Fans, but it appears the answer is no.
“How do we get you a cameo [or] something in Space Jam 2? Wouldn’t that be, like, iconic?”
Kobe met the interviewer with a big, cheerful laugh.
“I’ve got to be honest, man. Being in front of the camera was never something that excited me,” Bryant said.
Interestingly, when the topic of Michael Jackson’s “Jam” music video came up – you know, the one with Michael Jordan – Kobe said he wasn’t opposed to that sort of film, but he wasn’t going to do movies.
When mentioning that he “wouldn’t mind” trying his hand at directing, he reiterated that “being in front of the camera is something [he would] never do.”
Bryant did make a foray into the world of animation, though – his short film titled Dear Basketball won both an Academy Award and Sports Emmy Award after its 2018 release. The five-minute clip was inspired by a letter he wrote to The Player’s Tribune in 2015 when he announced his retirement from the NBA and was voiced by Bryant himself.
His talents in the creation of media stretched far beyond voiceover work. Up until his untimely death, he had been working hard to build up his Granity Studios – a production company that aimed to create family-friendly entertainment.
“I built Granity Studios as a platform to create and share original stories to inspire today’s young athletes,” he said in 2018. “There’s surprisingly little content that combines the passion of sports and the traditions of original storytelling. Granity Studios will fill that void.”
As a lot of Kobe tributes continue to confirm, no matter what he was working on, he was still 100% focused on fatherhood.
“As a creator, producer and, most importantly, the father of three young girls, I continue to be inspired to build a studio that welcomes diverse storytellers who aim to inspire young people to reach their full potential.”
The Academy Awards have confirmed that they will pay tribute to Bryant during this year’s telecast, airing Sunday, February 9th on ABC.