There’s a new Shaft. Can ya dig it?
In the tradition of the franchise since the last installment, we’re getting another soft reboot that’s also actually a sequel to what’s come before. The film series began back in 1971 with the blaxploitation classic Shaft, starring Richard Roundtree as the titular detective, John Shaft. Two sequels arrived over the next two years (Shaft’s Big Score! and Shaft in Africa), followed by a TV series also starring the same actor.
In 2000, we got a new movie, also titled Shaft, which starred Samuel L. Jackson as the titular detective, John Shaft. But not the same John Shaft. This private dick was the nephew of the original and Roundtree reprised his role briefly once again. The reboot was a box office hit and received a fresh Rotten Tomatoes score of 68%, compared to the original trilogy’s mix of 89%, 70% and 50%, respectively.
Now, another generation is leading the charge with Son of Shaft. This time, according to Deadline, actor Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence) will be playing an FBI agent, expert in cyber crimes, and son of Jackson’s character. Presumably, he’ll also be named John Shaft. The script, by Black-ish creator and Girls Night writer Kenya Barris, has them as an estranged pair who must team up for a case.
A post shared by Jessie T Usher Jr (@jessietusher) on Aug 18, 2017 at 11:24am PDT
Not only is Jackson expected to return as the elder Shaft but Roundtree is also set to make an appearance. As we learned earlier this year, Tim Story, who previously gave us two Fantastic Four movies, two Think Like a Man movies and two Ride Along movies, is at the helm. But contrary to other previous reports, this is not a full-on remake, nor does it seem like it’ll be more of a comedy than past installments.
Here’s what critics are saying about the latest development:
“Three generations of Shaft sounds kinda cool.” – Matt Singer, ScreenCrush
“The thought of seeing three Shafts on the big screen together is certainly intriguing.” – Jacob Hall, /Film
“Adding Jackson and Roundtree back into the fold is a huge thing for me. Still unsure of this buddy cop angle the movie is taking, but knowing this is Shaft 5, and not a full fledged comedic reboot, gives me hope.” – Patrick Campbell, SoCal Thrills
“Hopefully [Barris] has a fresh, interesting take on the character…I’m curious to see how socially relevant the film will be.” – Matt Goldberg, Collider