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After dunking its first trailer into the virtual basket earlier today, Space Jam: A New Legacy has beat the buzzer with a last-minute addition to its all-star cast of basketball champions, cartoon icons, and Warner Bros. properties.
Entertainment Weekly confirms that Zendaya (Spider-Man, Dune) will voice Lola Bunny, a now-iconic character that made her world debut in the 1996 original (where she was played by veteran voice actor, Kath Soucie). "Welcome to the Jam, @Zendaya," wrote the film's official Twitter account. The actress also corroborated the news on her Instagram story with a solo poster for Lola, who will rock a fresh design in A New Legacy. Speaking with EW for a special preview issue, the sequel's director, Malcolm D. Lee, stated that the sultry aesthetic for Bugs Bunny's female counterpart "was not politically correct" in the first movie.
"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," he explained. "This is 2021. It's important to reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters. ... So 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 film also stars LeBron James, Don Cheadle, Khris Davis, Sonequa Martin-Green, Jeff Bergman, Eric Bauza, Gabriel Iglesias, and newcomer Cedric Joe.
Space Jam: A New Legacy hits the court Friday, July 16 in theaters and on HBO Max.