ESPN dropped a “30 for 30” mockumentary clip for LeBron James’ “Space Jam: A New Legacy” Sunday, but Zendaya stole the show.
The six-minute, 20-second clip revealed Zendaya’s voice as the new Lola Bunny character for the first time. Fan interest in the Lola unveiling was so high that the actress’ name became a trending Twitter topic on Sunday.
The new-look, new-voice Lola utters her first words at the 1:49 mark, as Bugs Bunny and James argue over who is the best player on the Looney Tunes squad.
“So cute to watch them bicker, when everyone knows this is Lola’s team,” Lola Bunny says from a couch while discussing “Space Jam” (to be released July 16).
Later Lola Bunny boldly makes a claim for last-shot game status, saying, “When it’s crunch time, the ball is going to be in my paws.”
When LeBron is asked what the key to bringing the team together was, he responds, “Two words: Lola. Bunny. Greatest sidekick ever.”
Director Malcolm D. Lee has said he needed to go in a new direction with the Lola Bunny character that originated in Michael Jordan’s 1996 live action/animated movie “Space Jam.” Voiced by Kath Soucie, Lola Bunny was famed for her sultry outfits and the line to Bugs Bunny, “Don’t ever call me ‘doll.’ “
“Lola was not politically correct,” Lee told Entertainment Weekly in March. “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.”
Lee said he sought to “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,” said Lee. “For us, it was, let’s ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others.”
Twitter reactions to the vocal reveal were predictably mixed, with nostalgic fans of the original expressing disappointment.
“Her voice doesn’t fit Lola Bunny. It sounds like Zendaya talking not really Lola Bunny,” wrote one Twitter user.
“This is weird. Why is Zendaya’s voice coming out of Lola bunny?” wrote another.
“Zendaya playing Zendaya. well done,” wrote another Twitter user.
But there were plenty of fans supporting the casting.
“ZENDAYA VOICING LOLA BUNNY?! im going to pass out,” wrote one Twitter user.
“WHY DID NOBODY TELL ME ZENDAYA WAS VOICING LOLA BUNNY?!?” wrote another Twitter user.
One Twitter user added: “My life is complete. Zendaya is playing Lola Bunny in Space Jam 2.”
“At first i was like Zendaya as Lola Bunny really, but now hearing it, it fits perfectly,” wrote another Twitter user.
By Bryan Alexander | USA Today