On Wednesday, the long wait for a Space Jam sequel finally ended. Lebron James' production company officially announced that the film will tentatively begin filming next summer, starring James himself. Ryan Coogler of Black Panther and Creed has signed on to produce, while Terence Nance of Random Acts of Flyness has agreed to direct. The rest of the details are fuzzy but one thing's for sure — Joel Embiid was made for this movie and not casting him as a Monstar would be a mortal sin.
Why, you ask? Let me break down the reasons.
Embiid loves trash-talking.
The center's love of trash-talking is well-documented. He's trash-talked everyone from Lonzo Ball to Lonzo Ball's dad to Hassan Whiteside to Andre Drummond. Chances are, if you've played against Embiid, you've had to endure his trash talk. Even James has had to address Embiid's love of trash-talking during a press conference prior to a facing him on the court last year.
You know who else loves trash-talking? The Monstars. What more is there to say?
There's already a precedent set by Shawn Bradley
Bradley, the 76ers' center from 1993 to 1996, was a Monstar in the original Space Jam. That being said, he was not the best player in the film — the Harvard Sports Analysis found that Bradley did not attempt a single shot or record any other stats during the movie, reflecting his inconsistency as a player.
I'm sure Embiid won't let that happen again.
Embiid has already called his life a movie.
In an essay for the Player's Tribune that was published earlier this year, Embiid described how his career came to be — mostly through watching YouTube videos of white guys shooting perfect 3-pointers — and called his life a movie. I see no reason not to make that a reality.
Embiid can act.
Before being in cast in a movie, you have to prove that you have the acting chops for it. Luckily for us, Embiid has already proven that the camera loves him.
Embiid is ultra-competitive.
Considering what's at stake for the Monstars in Space Jam, it's not wonder that they're extremely competitive. Mr. Swackhammer is a boss who does not mess around. Again, Embiid has proven time and time again that he's incredibly competitive. (Need proof? Watch this video of him eating hot wings without water despite not being in a competition.) It's not even a question whether that competitiveness will translate onto the big screen.
Embiid knows a lot about Space Jam for someone who has never seen it.
Buzzfeed tested the 76ers on their Space Jam knowledge and while Ben Simmons and Robert Covington performed admirably, Embiid, who was born in Cameroon, guessed his way through the quiz. It's okay though — I'm sure that he'll get around to watching it before his casting agent calls. (And you can tell that when asked who should be the new Monstars, Embiid was dying to say himself.)