Expected for July 14, Space Jam: New Era showed its very first images on Saturday April 3. This trailer with the accents of Ready Player One did not fail to generate many comments, in particular on its references to pop culture.
The Night King from Game of Thrones, The Flintstones, King Kong, The Iron Giant, Yogi the Bear or Pennywise … many figures from popular culture have crept into these images.
Among all these characters, some have sparked controversy. At the bend of a map, we see the Droogies d’Orange Mécanique. This gang of criminals, led by Malcolm McDowell, commit terrible assaults in Kubrick’s film, including very violent rapes.
The spectators therefore pointed out a notable paradox. Why did the production leave a reference to rapist characters in the film when Pépé le polecat was purely and simply cut during the editing?
Indeed, on March 8, we learned that the animal, known to harass girls in the original cartoon, was censored by Space Jam 2. After a controversy born from the pen of the New York Times journalist, Charles Mr. Blow, a footage shot (but not yet animated) featuring the skunk has been thrown in the trash.
“It helped teach the boys that ‘no’ didn’t really mean ‘no’, that it was part of the game, that it was the starting point of a power struggle. The character normalized the culture of the game. rape”, argued the NY Times columnist.
The decision not to include the Toon in the film comes up against the very strange and questionable one to incorporate rapist characters like those of Clockwork Orange. (Even if they are only in the background and they do not have a scene to speak of).
In addition, before Pépé the polecat, another controversy concerning the rabbit Lola Bunny had tainted the production of Space Jam 2:
“Lola was very sexualized, like a Betty Boop mixed in with Jessica Rabbit. Lola was not politically correct. It’s a kid movie, why is she wearing a cropped crop top?
It was not necessary. We are in 2021. It is important to reflect the authenticity of strong and capable female characters “, explained director Malcolm D. Lee at the microphone of EW.
“So we reworked a lot of things. First, her look, to make sure she had the proper length of shorts and was feminine without being objectified.
And then we wanted to give him a real voice. For us, the idea was to anchor the character in his athletic prowess, his leadership qualities. Make her a character as complete as the others “, added the filmmaker.
In this context of extreme polishing of the film, the presence of Droogies d’Orange Mécanique therefore raises a legitimate question. Will they in turn be erased from Space Jam 2? Response to the film’s release on July 14 (if the health situation allows).
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