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Zendaya is helping to update a classic movie character.
The 24-year-old actress and singer is lending her voice to Lola Bunny in the upcoming movie Space Jam: A New Legacy, which stars NBA legend LeBron James (and, of course, a whole host of iconic Looney Tunes animated characters)
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, A New Legacy director MalcomD. Lee explained that one of his biggest goals in approaching the new Space Jam was to bring a "fully-realized" version of Lola—the lone female member of the Tune Squad—to the screen.
"Lola was not politically correct," Lee said of the 1996 film's portrayal of the character, who was first introduced in the original Space Jam. "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, who directed 2017's Girls Trip, went on to explain that he wanted Lola to "reflect the authenticity of strong, capable female characters" and that the character will actually be reintroduced alongside the Amazons of Wonder Woman in A New Legacy.
"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," Lee said. "For us, it was, let's ground her athletic prowess, her leadership skills, and make her as full a character as the others."
With all of that in mind, it's hard to imagine a better actress than Zendaya to bring new life to Lola and to bring the character into the 21st century as a role model worthy of young audiences.
Check out the first trailer for Space Jam: A New Legacy, below:
Space Jam: A New Legacy premieres July 16 in theaters and simultaneously on HBO Max, where it will be available to subscribers for a month.
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