While Pepe Le Pew's "rape-y" behavior was apparently deemed too problematic to include him in the 'Space Jam' sequel, a group of actual onscreen rapists is set to cameo.
The first official trailer for "Space Jam: A New Legacy" dropped this weekend -- and it shows LeBron James descending not just into the Looney Tunes world for a do-or-die basketball game ... but in a world full of classic movie characters, hand-drawn or otherwise.
In the new teaser, you see LeBron and co. on a basketball court in a stadium-like setting -- which is full of real-life human cameos from the likes of Damian Lillard, Anthony Davis, Klay Thompson and Diana Taurasi, but there's also pantheon greats from the cinematic universe sprinkled throughout ... like 'Batman' characters, 'Mad Max' characters, 'Scooby Doo' characters, 'GOT' characters ... and strangely, "A Clockwork Orange" characters too.
Yes, we're talking Alex and his gang of Droogs -- famous for their all-white outfits and their bowler hats. And, even more famous (or infamous) is their brutal rape scene in the 1971 Kubrick film, which is depicted in graphic detail ... and definitely NOT family-friendly by any stretch.
A lot of people quickly noticed the Droogs' presence ... and questioned why they were even in the film at all, considering the nature of their scripted backstory. There doesn't seem to be much of an explanation at this point, other than 'Space Jam' cramming as many memorable movie characters into the plot as possible ... "Ready Player One" style.
Of course, the inclusion of the Droogs makes ya wonder ... if they're in, why is Pepe out?
You'll recall ... Pepe's grabby approach toward Penelope Pussycat was recently put under a microscope and was even likened to perpetuating rape culture, which drew mixed reactions. Interestingly enough, it was reported that Pepe ended up getting axed from the new 'Space Jam' script entirely after some consideration. It's unclear if the "rape" criticism had anything to do with it directly ... but it seems likely WB execs might've already been thinking that.
Pepe was featured in the OG "Space Jam" -- but doesn't seem to be anywhere in the sequel, something that's got some people dumbfounded as far as priorities and decision-making, especially if the Droogs were given the green light to appear.