In case you weren’t feeling quite old enough today, the classic Michael Jordan vs. Looney Tunes drama Space Jam will celebrate its 20th anniversary next November.
But Nike’s newest ad, created by Wieden+Kennedy New York and starring Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin, is a fresh — and pointed — reminder of the 1996 film.
“The Dunk to End All Dunks” doesn’t feature Jordan himself (though the classic Nike Air icon does get a passing nod), or alas, Bill Murray. But it does star one Marvin the Martian, who seems to think that the universe is only big enough for one “Earth-shattering” dunk master.
While Marvin has his share of space-age toys to help him reach the rim despite his diminutive three-foot frame, Griffin has his own secret weapon. Naturally, it’s a brand new pair of Jordan Super.Fly 4 sneakers, which launch this week.
The original Space Jam was the highest-grossing basketball film in history, having earned more than $90 million domestically in 1996 dollars (sorry, Hoop Dreams). So, the question follows: is a Space Jam 2 in the works?
Warner Brothers strongly hinted at a “yes” by filing several new trademarks for the Space Jam brand in June, mere weeks before the studio announced a new “content creation partnership” with Jordan’s natural successor, LeBron James. The deal between James’ SpringHill Entertainment and the Warner Bros. family includes plans for “TV, film and original digital programming.“
LeBron recently proved that he can act by stealing several scenes in the Amy Schumer vehicle Trainwreck, and his company has already produced a TV doc series, a digital-only reality title, a “scripted drama on Starz” and an unnamed NBC prime-time game show.
When asked whether he would star in a potential Space Jam sequel during a Twitter Q&A last month, James teased fans with a “we’ll have to wait and see,” which could very easily mean “of course I will.”
Nike isn’t quite as shy. Along with this new campaign, the footwear giant created a microsite naming Marvin the Martian as a member of its extended family of athletes/spokespeople and tracing his plans to use the power of the Super.Fly 4 to destroy that “troublesome little planet” we call Earth once and for all (complete with his own merchandise). The inaugural ad for the new Air line was also directed by Jon Favreau of Iron Man fame, who might just be the perfect Hollywood lifer to helm a new big-budget basketball flick.
And what about Blake Griffin? He isn’t just Nike’s new spokesperson: he’s also performed at Hollywood’s Laugh Factory and made appearances on nearly every late-night show. At the very least, he should have a supporting role in a franchise that he calls “a big part of my life.” Right, Charles Barkley?
Even if the sequel doesn’t come to pass, get ready to see the Space Jam name and logo on everything from “comedy and/or drama features” to “lithographs,” “mounted and/or unmounted photographs” and “printed patterns for costumes, pajamas, sweatshirts and t-shirts,” according to the trademark filings. And per the Martian himself, we can expect more Blake-and-Marvin ads from W+K to launch before opening night.
This is just the beginning, Earthlings! -Marvin
— Jordan (@Jumpman23) August 2, 2015
Client: Jordan Brand
Advertising agency: Wieden+Kennedy New York
Executive Creative Directors: Jaime Robinson, David Kolbusz
Creative Directors: Jimm Lasser, Gary Van Dzura, Mike Giepert
Art Director: Jed Heuer
Copywriter: Al Merry, Laddie Peterson
Producer: Alison Hill
Assistant Producer: Kristen Johnson, Lisa Delonay
Head of Integrated Production: Nick Setounski
Account Team: Jerico Cabaysa, Jonathan Chu
Media Team: Karlo Cordova, Justin Lam, Branden Bouvia
Strategic Planner: Stéphane Missier
Project Manager: Sunjoo Ryou
Business Affairs Team: Sara Jagielski, Sonia Bisono, Carolina Hernandez, Lindsey Timko
Production Company: Pacific Rim Films
Director: Jon Favreau
Executive Producer, UPM: Annie Johnson
Editorial Company: Arcade Edit
Editor: Geoff Hounsell, Will Hassell
Executive Producer and Managing Partner: Damian Stevens
Executive Producer: Nicole Visram
Visual Effects Company: The Mill, New York
Executive Producer: Zu Al-Kadiri, The Mill
Producer: Katie Kolombatovich
Shoot Supervisor: Westley Sarokin and Ed Boldero
Creative Director: Westley Sarokin
Animation: Warner Bros Animation
Producer / Director: Spike Brandt
Line Producer: Monica Mitchell
Animators: Spike Brandt, Dale Baer, Dan Haskett, John McClenahan, Jeff Siergey, Neal Sternecky, Bill Waldman, Dean Wellins
Music Company: tonefarmer
President/Partner/Producer: Tiffany Senft
Founder/Composer: Raymond Loewy
Composers: Jared Hunter, Sam Skarstad, Raymond Loewy
Sound Designer: Jimmy Harned
Production Manager: Elizabeth Munoz
Mix Company: Sonic Union