The newly made-over Lola Bunny in the upcoming Looney Tunes sequel Space Jam: A New Legacy has scored a new voice. Music sensation and seemingly everywhere actress Zendaya will lend her voice to the animated rabbit.
Voice actress Kath Soucie provided the first voice of Lola Bunny in the 1996 release of Space Jam, succeeded by Kirsten Wiig in The Looney Toons Show.
According to Space Jam‘s director, Malcolm D. Lee, Lola has gone through a significant transformation in order to become more “fully realized” for a new generation of film-goers. The original Lola was dressed semi-provocatively in a crop top and tiny shorts in the 1996 release. And Lee felt that she wasn’t living up to the standards of a strong female character.
In an article first published by Entertainment Weekly, the director shared his thoughts and the reasoning behind the changes to her character in this sequel.
“Lola was not politically correct,” he said of the version in the 1996 film. “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.”
“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,” explained Lee. “For us, it was, let’s ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others.”
Zendaya is the reflection of today’s generation and casting her as Lola feels like a natural choice. She stars alongside NBA star Lebron James, Don Cheadle, and other famous Looney Tunes characters.
The 24-year-old not only plays a major role in Marvel’s Spider-Man franchise, but starred in the blockbuster film The Greatest Showman and HBO teen drama series, Euphoria. Coming this summer, her latest film, Dune will be released on HBO Max.
Warner Brothers released the first trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy this week, and it looks every bit as colorful and comical as its predecessor.
Lola in her newly designed form can be seen in segments throughout. More popular WB stars both old and now will make surprise cameos as they attend the big game.
Space Jam: A New Legacy will be released on July 16 in theaters and the streaming service HBO Max.