Big day in the Jungle… Even bigger day in the Rome household… It’s a big day, because it’s essentially a payday.
20 years ago today, Warner Brothers released MY movie into theaters. You might have heard of it… It’s called Space Jam. When adjusted for inflation, it’s only the third highest grossing sports movie of all time. Behind only that Sly Stallone boxing movie and Tommy Cruise show me the money movie.
Trust me, I’m reminded of that every month with my $1.68 residual checks. DRINKS ON VAN SMACK TONIGHT!
Sure it starred Bill Murray, Newman from Seinfeld, and Tweety Bird. And it had the Hick from French Lick, Pat Ewing, and the Tasmanian Devil. But it also had yours truly. And let’s be honest. Jim Rome is the name you put up on the marquee if you want to sell ducats. And the producers and director Joe Pytka clearly knew that.
It’s one thing to get some low paid extra to rattle off stats from 45’s baseball performance, but it’s way more authentic to get the Pimp In The Box himself to call MJ’s .214 batting average ANEMIC and compare it to his playing weight.
When it comes to acting debuts… I have to assume mine ranks up with the best. Julie Andrews as Mary Poppins. Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween. Alan Rickman as Hans Gruber in Die Hard. I don’t want to say it was Orson Wells in Citizen Kane good, but I don’t want to go WITHOUT saying it either.
And the crazy part is, I only had a supporting role. Shocker, right? It’s rare when you see a supporting role steal the entire movie. Heath Ledger’s Joker in The Dark Knight. Will Ferrell in Wedding Crashers. McConaughey in Wolf of Wall Street. Alec Baldwin in Glengarry Glen Ross. And Van Smack as Jim Rome in Space Jam. I mean: Baseball bat? Get this guy an Academy Award.
2016 has been a HUGE year for the franchise. It’s the 20th anniversary, there was a live read of the script at this year’s NBA All-Star Weekend, and of course, LOTS and LOTS of chatter about SJ2. It makes sense.
Hollywood is ALL about remakes and sequels. And honestly, I’m all for it. A sequel has my blessing. As long as I get the call for it. I mean, you wouldn’t remake Titanic without the iceberg, so why remake Space Jam without Jim Rome?
Happy 20th, Space Jam. I’ll be waiting for my next check in the mail.