It’s been nearly 20 years since John Shaft last graced the screen in John Singleton‘s 2000 reboot/sequel Shaft, which saw Samuel L. Jackson as the nephew of Richard Roundtree‘s legendary private eye. Far too much time has passed and now that bad mother– shut your mouth! — returns once again in (once again) Shaft, director Tim Story‘s updated sequel introduces Jessie T. Usher as Jackson’s son. Three generations of Shaft in a single action-packed picture? You’re damn right.
1971’s Shaft was a turning point in cinema, a pop sensation that saw John Shaft take on the mob and crooked cops and pushed the Blaxploitation genre of cinema into the mainstream. It must be remember that Isaac Hayes‘ iconic theme song won the Oscar for Best Original Song. The 2000 reboot/sequel had an amazing cast with Jackson, Christian Bale, Toni Collette, and Jeffrey Wright but failed to connect with broader audiences — perhaps its story of a wealthy socialite getting away with murdering a young black man was just too much for audiences who wanted to believe that racially motivated violence was in the past.
The time is right for more Shaft to kick ass and take names. Joining the headlining trio of Jackson, Roundtree, and Usher is Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp, Matt Lauria, Titus Welliver, and Cliff “Method Man” Smith. Fantastic Four (2005) director Tim Story directs a script by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow. Check out the first trailer for Shaft and prepare yourself for the return of the cat who won’t cop out when there’s all about — Shaft! — on June 14, 2019 from New Line Cinema.
The official synopsis for Shaft:
JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Usher), may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, he needs an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly. And while JJ’s own FBI analyst’s badge may clash with his dad’s trademark leather duster, there’s no denying family. Besides, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s professionalandpersonal.