‘Shaft’ Reboot Taps ‘Black-ish’ Creator Kenya Barris
Back in February, we heard that New Line acquired the rights to Shaft with plans to reboot the franchise, hopefully with more success than John Singleton’s 2000 effort starring Samuel L. Jackson. New Line has reportedly found a strong creative voice to reinvigorate the franchise in Kenya Barris, creator of the acclaimed TV show Black-ish.
According to THR, Barris and The Goldbergs producer Alex Barnow have been tapped to write the screenplay for the Shaft reboot, while the search for a director continues. Barris’ work on Black-ish has been praised for its comedic approach to exploring race in America, and centers on a black family living in a predominantly white, upper-class neighborhood. Star Anthony Anderson recently received an Emmy nomination for his part on the show.
The first Shaft film was released in 1971 and based on Ernest Tidyman’s 1970 novel. Shaft centered 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, Singleton released a reboot with Samuel L. Jackson in the role of the iconic detective’s nephew, who takes on his uncle’s mantle to pursue a shady real estate developer (Christian Bale, never forget).
It’s unclear what Barris and Barnow have in store for the character, but hopefully we can dig it.