LeBron James' 'Space Jam 2' to Film in California

Photographed By Kwaku Alston

The state has landed the long-anticipated Warner Bros. sequel, the latest in a string of big-budget features opting to film in the home of Hollywood.

California has lured another big-budget feature. 

Warner Bros.' Space Jam 2 — the long-awaited sequel starring LeBron James and produced by Ryan Coogler — will film in the state. It's the latest on a growing list of big-budget movies that are choosing to film in California over locales that often offer more aggressive financial incentives.

Space Jam 2 is one of 15 film projects — 10 non-independent, five indie — that have been selected to take part in the state's incentives program in its latest allocation round. Others include Andy Samberg's Palm Springs, Universal's Marry Me and 24/7, Lionsgate's Margaritaville and 20th Century Fox's The Boy Who Knew Too Much and Mouse Guard (see below for full list.)

What's notable is that at least five of those films plan to shoot outside Los Angeles' 30-mile zone, which has been a big initiative of the revamped program. In fact, four of the out-of-zone projects (Janis, Cry, Baby, Lexi and Luminous) will shoot in the San Francisco area, while Palm Springs will film in the namesake desert resort city.

“One of the goals for Program 2.0 is to bring production jobs and spending to regions across the state, and we’re beginning to see that happen more often and on a larger scale,” said the California Film Commission's executive director Amy Lemisch. “We’re thrilled to see Program 2.0 have such far-reaching benefits.”

A total of $73.3 million in tax credits has been reserved for the new projects, which are on track to generate $370 million in qualified expenditures (including $194.7 million in wages for below-the-line crewmembers.) The projects will also employ an estimated 2,300 crew, 750 cast and 28,000 extras/stand-ins over a combined 554 shoot days. Space Jam 2 alone is set to generate more than $100 million in qualified spending, including almost $43.2 million in below-the-line wages. 

The five new out of-zone projects plan to spend 88 filming days in San Francisco, Riverside and Kern Counties. Topping the list are CBS Films’ Lexi with 30 filming days in San Francisco, and Palm Springs — with 20 of its 25 filming days in the desert city.

“I’m thrilled to be shooting in my home state of California,” added Samberg, who will produce and star in Palm Springs. “Not only was I born and raised here, but, as everyone knows, the California Raisins were a major creative influence, which I think will definitely rub off on this production.”