We interview Space Jam: A New Legacy star Gabriel Iglesias about performing Speedy Gonzales, the film’s various tributes to Warner Bros., and more.
Space Jam: A New Legacy brings back plenty of old favorites with a new twist on July 16. The sequel to the 1996 family favorite reunites the Tunes squad, with updated animation and an updated voice cast to boot.
Gabriel Iglesias, who plays Speedy Gonzales, regaled Screen Rant with the story of how he found his character’s voice and what twists to expect in the upcoming film.
What did you want to bring to the voice of Speedy? Because Speedy Gonzales is such an iconic character.
Gabriel Iglesias: I guess the main goal was to make sure that people thought of the character. Because I was given the option of doing my own speaking voice; my regular speaking voice. The directors and the producers were concerned, and they were like, “We just want to make sure that you feel comfortable, and that the character is being portrayed the right way.”
Everybody’s so sensitive right now, so I get it. They wanted to make sure they didn’t have another little situation pop up. They wanted to make sure: “Give us the brown green light.” And I’m like, “Alright, yeah, you’re good.”
I told them, “Look, I think Speedy Gonzales should sound like Speedy Gonzales.” They’re like, “You don’t think it’s too stereotypical?” I said, “You don’t know my family. Trust me, we’re good. We’re good.” And they said, “Well, do you think you can do the voice?” And I’m like, “That’s what I do. I do voices. I thought that’s why you guys hired me.”
As soon as we went into recording, I gave them Speedy and they were freaked out. I’ll go from this to, “Speedy Gonzales, the fastest mouse in all Mexico. ¡Arriba Arriba! ¡Ándale Ándale!” They’re like, “Wow, that’s good,” and I said, “Don’t think that just because I’m Mexican, I can only do the Mexican character.” I’ll do all of them. I said, “You want Marvin the Martian? ‘Oh, my! My modulator!’ You want Yosemite Sam? ‘Aaah! Hunt that rabbit!” You want Bugs Bunny? ‘What’s up, Doc?'”
I said, “You can fire the whole cast right now. I’ll do the whole movie for half.”
That is phenomenal. What has Speedy been up to you, and how is he recruited to play on the Tunes squad?
Gabriel Iglesias: As far as how he’s recruited, I think the same way that everybody else is, With cartoons, there’s never really a a big, thought-out introduction. Cartoons are cartoons so, all of a sudden, they appear. And that’s pretty much the case with all these characters. Everybody just starts popping up. It’s that world; it’s that Looney Tunes world.
I love the fact that they bounce in and out of different worlds, whether it’s Looney Tunes or DC. Everything under the Warner Brothers banner is open season, so you see a lot of things happening. And it’s just so much to take in that there’s no real introduction like in a normal movie of a character. Cartoons are cartoons; they just show up unannounced, and all of a sudden, they’re like, “Where’d they go?” That’s just the way they work.
This isn’t only a tribute to the Space Jam legacy, but I feel like it really is a tribute to Warner Brothers in general. What are you most excited for audiences to see with Space Jam: A New Legacy?
Gabriel Iglesias: I think a lot of people are assuming it’s the exact same movie. I thought the same thing. I’m like, “Oh, it’s just a reboot.” No, man. It’s a whole different story. The only thing that’s the same is it involves a, superstar basketball player and Looney Tunes. But the story is very, very different.
And I was pleasantly surprised. I’m like, “Okay. alright. This is cool.” There’s a lot of twists and turns in it. There’s even one point where I said it was like a soap opera. As a character, I remember voicing a line where I said, “It’s like a novela!” It’s like a soap opera in Spanish. I remember my character saying that in the movie at one point, because there was a very dramatic scene that was not expected.
- Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021)Release date: Jul 16, 2021
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