Back in February 2015, New Line Cinema announced they were developing a Shaft remake, with John Davis producing through his Davis Entertainment company. At the time, no writer or director had been attached to the project, but that has all changed. Today a new report claims that Tim Story is in negotiations to direct, from a script by Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow. This report also confirms that the project will follow another relative of Richard Roundtree's original title character.
Deadline reports that New Line plans to "reinvigorate" the franchise by focusing this reboot on the son of John Shaft, who is navigating the murky area between law enforcement and organized crime in New York City. No specific plot details were revealed, but this format could potentially allow Richard Roundtree to return as John Shaft, and Samuel L. Jackson to also come back as his nephew, also named John Shaft. It isn't clear if the studio plans on bringing both of those characters back, but it would be possible since it's not a complete reboot.
The original movie released in 1971, based on Ernest Tidyman's novel and directed by Gordon Parks, became a cult classic and one of the most successful 'blaxploittion' films of the 1970s. The movie, which also featured an iconic score by Isaac Hayes, grossed $13 million from a $500,000 budget. Richard Roundtree returned as the title character in two sequels, 1972s Shaft's Big Score and 1973's Shaft in Africa, along with a short-lived Shaft TV series which only ran for seven episodes in 1974. The 2000 Shaft remake starring Samuel L. Jackson, which was directed by John Singleton, earned $70.3 million domestically and $107.1 million worldwide from a $46 million budget.
Producer John Davis is no stranger to reboots, producing both the original Predator and the 2010 reboot Predators. He is also returning to produce 20th Century Fox's The Predator, which will be directed by Shane Black. Most recently, he produced The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Victor Frankenstein, Joy, and he has been keeping busy on the small screen as well. He currently produces two hit NBC shows, The Blacklist and Timeless. He is also producing a number of upcoming projects such as I, Robot 2, Selling Time, Protection, Game Night and Zara.
Tim Story first burst onto the scene with his hit 2002 comedy Barbershop, which lead to a pair of big-budget movies, Taxi starring Queen Latifah and Jimmy Fallon in 2004, and Fantastic Four in 2005, with Ioan Gruffuud, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans and Michael Chiklis. He also directed Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Think Like a Man, Ride Along, Think Like a Man 2, Ride Along 2 and he has recently been confirmed to return for Ride Along 3. It remains to be seen when Shaft will start filming, or when casting will begin.