It's been 16 years since the world had its last adventure with the Shaft franchise. Which means it's about time that the complicated man who could only be understood by his woman returned to the silver screen. But with a new incarnation of the legendary character's mythos coming to the movies, something new is headed our way: Shaft's family is going to be involved in the crime busting as well.
Tim Story, the man behind such films as the first two Fantastic Four films at Fox as well as the comedy smash Ride Along, was on hand at the Television Critics' Association celebration being held by Showtime. During that shindig he said the following about how his approach to the Shaft franchise would further differentiate itself from the pre-existing legacy:
My Shaft movie is going to be definitely not straight action. We're going action-comedy or comedy-action, I'm not exactly sure which one comes first. We're going to definitely make sure the stakes in the world are real, and then you've got these characters who are dealing with kind of a father/son situation, we're going to see them put a family back together.
So right out of the gate, this new Shaft film isn't just going to focus on John and his life as a sex machine. Rather, John and his father will be fighting crime in a much more real, yet much funnier way. Basically, it sounds like the Ride Along approach would be fitted to the Shaft franchise, thus turning it into something more kinetic and more modern. Though that's not the only new component to the franchise, as another new character is coming into play: Shaft's mom.
Through remarks that came via /Film's coverage of the TCA event, Story explained that the film would feature Shaft's mother as another member of the team, promising that every character would be a strong leading presence in his re-imagining of Shaft. Looking back on the 2001 reboot starring Samuel L. Jackson, it might have been a better idea for that film to take a similar tactic, as that film felt more like a transplant of a classic Shaft adventure into the modern world. It basically worked as well as you'd think, and one could only imagine how many more Shaft movies we'd have had under Jackson's tenure if they'd strayed a little more off the beaten path.
Remaking Shaft has been on New Line's plate for a couple of years now, and hearing that the action/comedy route is still in play has us hoping this latest bite at the apple will be the one that does the trick. It'll be interesting to see how this project progresses under Tim Story, and it'll be even more fascinating to see who gets cast in the lead roles of the Shaft family. With no production start date or release schedule in mind just yet, there will be plenty of time to do right by this legendary character. Fingers crossed the next news we report on the Shaft project will be something that everyone can dig.