By Tambay A. Obenson, Shadow and Act
New Line Cinema has announced that the studio is developing a “Shaft” reboot, with a screenplay that will be penned by “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris and “The Goldbergs” executive producer Alex Barnow.
A reboot of 1970s screen hero has been in the works for some time, with the most recent update in February of this year, listing veteran producer John Davis (the “Predator” franchise, “Chronicle,” and “I, Robot”) as shepherd of the project. Today’s update comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, which revealed the attachments of Barris and Barnow as writers, as well as the announcement that this latest interpretation will have a much more comedic tone to it, which probably shouldn’t be a surprise, given the resumes of both Barris and Barnow.
No details on story yet.
But yes, the black private dick that’s a sex machine to all the chicks will be making a comeback, albeit more comedic, at a theater near you, courtesy of New Line Cinema.
Recall that, in 2000, Samuel L. Jackson starred in a reboot of the franchise, as the nephew of the original John Shaft, from the initial 1970’s movies that starred Richard Roundtree as the eponymous detective. Jackson will not be starring in this new reboot; it’s an entirely new Shaft obviously, and the role (whether nephew or original Shaft) will be recast.
There’s certainly a growing list of capable young black actors to select from; I’ll leave it to you folks to come up with some appropriate choices for what could be a career-making role for some up-and-comer; especially if New Line plans to make a franchise out of this reboot.
I assume that this will be set in the present-day, and not a period piece, with our hero still the coolest private detective around, who likes his women chic, his cars fast and his clothes expensive, and takes the fight to those lowlifes, scumballs and vigilantes who prey upon him, as well as those he cares about, and other decent, everyday people.
Barris is certainly busy, maybe thanks to the success of “Black-ish” on ABC. He’s also scripting “Barbershop 3” for MGM, as well as a feature film adaptation of the 1970’s hit sitcom “Good Times” for Sony.