'Shaft' reboot in the works at New Line
Shaft is on his way back. Can you dig it?
The franchise rights for the series featuring private detective John Shaft has been acquired by New Line, The Wrap reported. There are no further details of the reboot beyond the involvement of producer John Davis (The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Predator, I, Robot).
The original 1971 film was based on a book released in 1970 and featured Richard Roundtree as the titular gumshoe. Isaac Hayes scored the film—including the iconic theme song that will be hummed throughout offices the rest of the day—netting him a pair of Grammys and the Academy Award for Best Original Song. The Gordon Parks-directed movie is one of the marquee examples of the Blaxploitation genre. As such, the Library of Congress deemed it worthy of preservation for its cultural impact.
The film’s already received one modernized remake in the 2000s. Samuel L. Jackson played an NYPD cop, and the nephew of Roundtree’s character. The film boasted John Singleton as the director and starred Christian Bale, Elizabeth Banks, Mekhi Phifer, Toni Collette, Vanessa Williams and the original Shaft in Roundtree.
Released in the summer of 2000, Shaft hit big at the box office, raking in over $100 million, more than double its budget. With a strong backing and big names attached to it, people would flock for the sheer name recognition as long as it’s not terribly received; moviegoers love those inclined in doling out justice.
There’s no word yet who could be tapped to star, but Donald Glover’s top pick—Michael Cera—can probably be discounted.