How has it been 19 years since Samuel L. Jackson took on the role of Shaft!?
Jackson returns as that baddest mofo with a badge in Shaft, the same title given to the 2000 film and the 1971 original. We get three Shafts for the prices of one this time around; introduced is JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Jessie T. Usher), with original Shaft Richard Roundtree back as John Shaft II. The plot finds the Shafts hitting Harlem and investing the death ofJr’s friend.
Directed by Tim Story (Ride Along, 2005’s Fantastic Four, Barbershop), this new Shaft film looks to be well and truly in the comedy realm. It could be a good bit of easy fun, although hopefully there will be a bit of bite as well, considering this stems from a blaxploitation pic. There’s also no Christian Bale as a villain here, so we’ll see how the bad guys are handled.
Shaft, also starring Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp, Matt Lauria, Titus Welliver and Cliff “Method Man” Smith, will hit US cinemas on June 14. Netflix will have it for international release.
Extended official rundown for Shaft:
New Line Cinema’s action comedy “Shaft” is the next chapter in the film franchise featuring the coolest private eye on any New York City block.
Tim Story (the “Ride Along” and “Think Like a Man” franchises) directs this all-new take on a legend, starring Oscar nominee Samuel L. Jackson (“Pulp Fiction,” “Kong: Skull Island”), Jessie T. Usher (TV’s “Survivor’s Remorse,” “Almost Christmas”), Regina Hall (“Girls Trip,” “Barbershop: The Next Cut”), Alexandra Shipp (“Straight Outta Compton,” “X-Men: Apocalypse”), Matt Lauria (TV’s “Kingdom,” “Friday Night Lights”), Titus Welliver (“Argo,” TV’s “Bosch”), Cliff “Method Man” Smith (“Keanu,” “Train Wreck”), and Richard Roundtree, the original John 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 professional and personal.
The film is produced by John Davis (“Game Night,” “Joy”) under his Davis Entertainment banner. “Shaft” is written by Kenya Barris (“Girls Trip,” TV’s “Black-ish”) & Alex Barnow (TV’s “The Goldbergs”), based upon the character John Shaft from the novel by Ernest Tidyman. Serving as executive producers are Tim Story, Ira Napoliello, Kenya Barris, Marc S. Fischer, Richard Brener and Josh Mack.
Story’s behind-the-scenes creative team included director of photography Larry Blanford (“Ride Along,” “Tag”), production designer Wynn Thomas (“Hidden Figures”), editor Peter S. Elliot (“Ride Along 2”), and costume designer Olivia Miles (“Ride Along 2”). The music is by Christopher Lennertz (“Nobody’s Fool,” “Pitch Perfect 3”), and Dave Jorden served as music supervisor.
New Line Cinema presents a Davis Entertainment Production, a Tim Story Film, “Shaft” is set for release on June 14, 2019. It will be distributed in North America by Warner Bros. Pictures, and internationally by Netflix.