Space Jam: A New Legacy brought back an iconic franchise that saw the Looney Tunes reunite with a famous basketball player. While Michael Jordan didn’t return, LeBron James took center stage and played a game with the famous cartoon characters against a group of unlikely foes. In the case of the Loony Tunes, they did continue the classic voices of many characters, with Eric Bauza continuing to voice characters like Bugs Bunny.
Yet, they did end up recasting some members such as Zendaya taking over the role of Lola, which recently got reinvented by Kristen Wiig on The Looney Tunes Show. Another new casting was in the form of famous comedian Gabriel Iglesias as Speedy Gonzales. He recently appeared on The Late Show and discussed his role in the film with Stephen Colbert, where he revealed some curious decisions made for his casting as the iconic character. First off, he didn’t have to audition for the role, and they offered him to change the iconic voice of the character.
I thought that was pretty awesome that they would give me that power. And I said ‘No. When people think of Speedy Gonzales, I don’t want them to think of me, I want them to think of Speedy Gonzales.’Gabriel Iglesias
He goes on to reveal that even though he was already cast as the character, they weren’t sure if he could to an impression of him. It was a rather surprising inquiry as he already got the part before someone revealed that:
The question was asked, ‘Can you do Speedy Gonzales?’ And I’m like, ‘How did I get the part? Oh, they needed a big brown shield.’Gabriel Iglesias
It’s a curious way for Warner Bros. to handle the casting, but there have been many controversies surrounding the character and the stereotypes he portrayed. Iglesias did go on to make the joke after they loved his performance that “I have been Mexican a long time.” before he showed off his vocal performances on the show. He also highlighted the fact that he and his family loved growing up with the character.
If you are interested, you can check out the original interview here:
Source: Complex, YouTube via Hollywood Reporter