LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) -- It's been 25 years since audiences were brought to Looney Tune land with Michael Jordan in order to save the Tunes from being sent to Moron Mountain. Now, the Tunes are back and this time teaming up with Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James for another epic basketball showdown in Space Jam: A New Legacy.
James and the Tunes have to take on an all-star squad assembled by Don Cheadle's Al G. Rhythm and captained by James' son, Dom. Dom James is played by Cedric Joe, a young Los Angeles native who grew up a Lakers and LeBron fan so getting the chance to share the screen with James had him pretty excited.
"Everything is very surreal and I'm just taking it all in. A lot of it still hasn't hit me yet. I feel like I'm just...living the dream right now," said Joe in an interview with CBS Local's Ryan Mayer.
Joe made sure to do his homework after getting the part, revisiting the original to get a feel for what to expect with the Looney Tunes.
"I did go back and watch the original Space Jam and I am a fan of the original. So just to be able to be part of the Space Jam franchise and bring it back, it's just a blessing," Joe said.
The movie explores the father-son dynamic between Joe's character Dom and James, who don't see eye to eye on what the future for Dom will look like. That relationship is at the core of the film.
"Dom James is obviously, LeBron James' son who is good at basketball. But he doesn't want to follow in his dad's footsteps of going into the NBA. He wants to follow his own path and be a video game developer and he wants to create games because that's something he's really passionate about," Joe said. "That's something that he's having a hard time trying to get his dad to understand that. And we get to see how they come to an agreement in this movie."
For Joe, working with James as part of a father-son duo was exciting because they were able to build that type of chemistry by being around each other on set each day.
"It was really fun. We got to build chemistry and be around each other every day. And the film and the chemistry we had, we made it really easy on each other to be able to play a father and son to make it about the connection that we have and the lack of communication, the understanding one another," Joe said. "That's something that you get to see how we understand each other and see from the other person's point of view."
That chemistry was built off screen too with Joe making sure to challenge James to some basketball competitions. While he took plenty of losses, as to be expected going up against the NBA veteran, Joe says he did get one win, in a free throw shooting contest that he'll be talking about for a long time.
With the movie set to premiere in theaters and HBO Max on Friday, Joe's message for what audiences should expect is simple.
"Expect laughter, family fun and basketball," Joe said.
Space Jam: A New Legacy premieres this Friday, July 16 in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
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