Zendaya has been confirmed to join the cast of Space Jam: A New Legacy and will serve as the voice of Lola Bunny.
A tweet from the film’s official account confirmed Zendaya’s casting shortly after the trailer arrived, tweeting: “Welcome to the Jam, @Zendaya.”
— Space Jam: A New Legacy (@spacejammovie) April 3, 2021
Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, director Malcolm D. Lee said the new version of Lola Bunny would “reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters”.
“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.”
Zendaya has yet to comment publicly on the casting. Space Jam: A New Legacy will be released on July 23.
The sequel to the 1997 classic will see basketball star LeBron James team up with Bugs Bunny. The new trailer shows the legendary athlete getting trapped in a digital landscape by evil algorithm AI G Rhythm (Don Cheadle), from which he must escape to lead the Looney Tunes in a basketball game against a team of AIs.
One character who won’t be returning for the new film is Pepe Le Pew, who has been removed from the cast amid controversy after New York Times columnist Charles M. Blow said in an article that Le Pew “normalised rape culture”. However, the removal is not believed to be connected to Blow’s remarks.