After reigning supreme during the "blaxploitation" era of cinema and returning in 2000 for a follow-up, Shaft is getting another shot at silver screen fame. Since 2015, a new movie centered around the cool private detective has been in the works, and Ride Along's Tim Story has been attached to direct. For a long time this was considered to be a reboot, but now it appears that this new Shaft movie will actually continue the Shaft saga that's been running since the 1970s, because Samuel L. Jackson is being eyed to reprise his role from the 2000 Shaft movie.
Samuel L. Jackson is in negotiations to reprise John Shaft II, the nephew of the original John Shaft, in this new movie, which is now reportedly called Son of Shaft. But the fun doesn't stop there. Richard Roundtree, a.k.a. the original John Shaft himself, is also angling to return in Son of Shaft as the man who started it all. As for new talent, Independence Day: Resurgence's Jessie T. Usher is in talks to play the youngest of the Shaft men, i.e. the son of Jackson's Shaft. If all three of these men are able to finalize deals, this will be a full-fledged family affair. Deadline also reported that Son of Shaft will see Usher's Shaft, who is an FBI agent and cyber expert, teaming up with his dad after the two of them have been estranged for years. The partnership between these generations is described as "an uneasy collision of old school meets new school."
Based on the novel written by Ernest Tidyman, the original Shaft movie was released in 1971, and followed Richard Roundtree's detective being hired to save the daughter of a Harlem mob boss from Italian criminals who have kidnapped her. The movie earned numerous accolades, including Isaac Hayes' "Shaft" winning the Best Original Song Oscar. Shaft's Big Score and Shaft in Africa followed in 1972 and 1973, respectively. The 2000 Shaft movie saw Samuel L. Jackson's John Shaft in action as an NYPD detective investigating a murder. This installment was met a fair amount of positive reception.
Which brings us to Son of Shaft. Given how many reboots and remakes Hollywood churns out on a regular basis, it's refreshing that this new Shaft movie has decided not to press the reset button and instead continue the story that began more than 45 years ago. Bringing three generations of Shaft men together has the potential to be a lot more interesting than just putting a slightly new spin on an already-told story.
Son of Shaft is being written by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, but no release date has been set yet. Keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates concerning the project.