Many of you will remember that Shaft was already given the reboot treatment back in 2000, but it seems that Hollywood thinks enough time has passed to bring the franchise back again. Can you dig it?
The Wrap has picked up on news that New Line Cinemas - a subsidiary of Warner Bros. - has picked up the rights to the Shaft franchise and is now planning on rebooting it for a new theatrical release. As the project is obviously very much in early days, there are no writers or director attached to the project just yet, but John Davis - the producer behind movies likes I, Robot, Norbit, and Predators, is attached to navigate the film through development.
In the original Shaft, which first calme out in 1971, Richard Roundtree starred as the titular John Shaft, a private detective who is hired by a crime lord to rescue the criminal's kidnapped daughter. In the 2000 version, however, which was directed by John Singleton, Samuel L. Jackson starred as the original Shaft's nephew and served as a NYPD detective making sure that a wealthy criminal (played by Christian Bale) didn't get away with a racially-motivated murder. The Wrap's report suggests that it's unclear at this point if the new film will continue going down the family line, or if there are plans to ignore all previous continuity and move forward with something new.
Regardless of the direction they go, however, one thing that they better not change is the epic Isaac Hayes-performed theme song that may even be more iconic in pop culture these days than the original movie:
It's honestly kind of surprising that it took this long for us to hear about a brand new Shaft movie. The 2000 film wasn't exactly a huge blockbuster, but it got decent reviews and wound up taking in $107 million worldwide (which wasn't shabby at all for an R-rated movie back then). Depending on what's involved in the plot, cop movies aren't typically that expensive to make, which is a good incentive for Hollywood to keep pumping them out, and everyone knows that the industry loves to take advantage of a brand - which Shaft most certainly is.
It's easy to expect that a lot of people will be interesting in the filmmakers who are ultimately chosen to make this new version of Shaft, but what will naturally be even bigger and more exciting is finding out who will play this generation's version of the titular character. Who will it be? David Oyewolo? Anthony Mackie? Jamie Foxx? Tell us who you think should get the job in the comments below.
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Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.