Original 'Space Jam' Director Joe Pytka Blasts New Film: 'LeBron Ain't Michael'

Joe Pytka, who directed the original 'Space Jam,' is the latest person to express his disdain for the LeBron James-starring 'Space Jam: A New Legacy.'


Image via Getty/Matt Winkelmeyer


It seems everyone is piling on Space Jam: A New Legacy, which failed to impress critics upon its release last week. The latest person to trash the LeBron James-starring film is Joe Pytka, who directed the original, which starred Michael Jordan.

Per TMZ, Pytka said it took him five attempts to sit through the entire film, which he descirbed as “an uninteresting mess.” The 82-year-old director also weighed in on the LeBron vs. Jordan debate. 

"The truth is that LeBron ain’t Michael," Pytka said, adding that MJ was one of if not the biggest celebrity in the world when Space Jam debuted. He also suggested that there’s no connection to LeBron’s personal life, whereas the original touched upon Jordan’s brief pivot to the world of baseball. He maintained, however, that LeBron is a remarkable athlete and a good actor.

He also claimed that the new soundtrack doesn’t match up to the original, dubbing it “insignificant,” and that the supporting cast of Charles Barkley, Muggsy Bogues, Shawn Bradley, and Bill Murray was far more memorable than the supporting cast in A New Legacy. Anthony Davis and Damian Lillard were among the new supporting players in the standalone sequel, and Pytka remarked that he couldn’t remember a single thing they did during the two-hour runtime.

Pytka also wasn’t a fan of the new design of Bugs Bunny. “He 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,” he told TMZ. The director did admit that Space Jam was panned by critics, but it still holds a very special place in the hearts of fans, regardless.

Despite his criticism and the overall critical response, A New Legacy debuted No. 1 at the U.S. box office last weekend, beating out Marvel’s Black Widow.

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