Another ‘Shaft’ Reboot is in the Works, if You Can Dig It
It was just 15 years ago that Paramount released a Shaft reboot with Samuel L. Jackson taking on the iconic role originated by Richard Roundtree in Gordon Parks’ 1971 film. But since that didn’t exactly kick off a new franchise, we’re apparently getting a do-over. New Line Cinema has picked up the rights to Shaft, which means we’re getting a whole new reboot. Ya damn right.
The Wrap is reporting that New Line has acquired the rights to Shaft with plans to reboot the franchise with a new leading man. Parks’ original film was based on the 1970 novel by Ernest Tidyman, and focused on Detective John Shaft, a smooth-talking and incredibly cool private eye who is hired by a crime boss to find his kidnapped daughter. Richard Roundtree portrayed John Shaft in the ‘71 film, as well as two sequels and a short-lived television series.
In 2000, John Singleton released his reboot of Shaft with Samuel L. Jackson in the title role, playing the nephew of Roundtree’s character. That film was far grittier, with Jackson’s Shaft tracking down a real-estate developer to bring him to justice for a hate crime. (Lest we also forget, that film starred Christian Bale, of all people. These were much simpler times.)
It’s unclear if the new reboot will be connected to the original series at all, like Singleton’s film, or if it will completely restart and modernize the franchise.