Richard Roundtree, Samuel L. Jackson and Jessie T. Usher marked the beginning of production on the Shaft movie series reboot with an on-set photo. Roundtree, of course, originated the role of Detective John Shaft with Shaft in 1971 with legendary director Gordon Parks at the helm. The success of the film led Roundtree to reprise the character in two feature films – Shaft’s Big Score! in 1972 and Shaft in Africa in 1974 – and in-between he transitioned to a Shaft TV series that ran for seven episodes in 1973 and 1974 on CBS.
Apart from Roundtree’s iconic performance as the character, Shaft also secured a place in popular culture thanks to Issac Hayes’ funkadelic anthem ‘Theme from Shaft,’ which not only set the tone for the film series, but won a Best Original Song Oscar at the Academy Awards in 1972. Appropriately, Hayes recorded a new version of the song for a Shaft sequel in 2000, which starred Jackson as Shaft’s nephew. That film, despite a relatively successful run (it made $107.1 million at the global box office against a $46 million budget), turned out being a one-and-done deal for Jackson and Roundtree, that is until director Tim Story ( Ride Along) took the reigns on a reboot of the series a year ago.
Following the casting of Usher (who played Will Smith’s adult son in Independence Day: Resurgence) as Jackson’s estranged son for the film last August, the latest iteration of Shaft (under the working title Son of Shaft) has started production for its June 2019 release. Roundtree, Jackson and Usher celebrated the occasion in a photo Thursday, and they were appropriately accompanied by Hayes’ son, Isaac Hayes III. The younger Hayes posted the photo on an official Twitter account dedicated to his late grandfather’s legacy. See the photo below:
It’s great to see Shaft making a comeback after more than a 17-year absence from the big screen. What makes the occasion truly special, though, is that fans are getting three iterations of the character, with the newest Shaft family member bringing a modern spin to the detective series as an FBI computer analyst. The picture, figuratively and literally, though, wouldn’t be complete without the involvement of Hayes III, who bears a striking resemblance to his famous father.
In an ode to one of the elder Hayes’ catchphrases in “Theme from Shaft,” the tweet hashtags “bad mutha,” but humorously adds a word frequently associated with Jackson’s roles to make it “Bad Mutha#%*!as.” Hopefully, Hayes’ son will tweet more catchphrases from the classic song as the production moves forward, including “Shut your mouth!” and “Can you dig it?” The Shaft film experience simply wouldn’t be the same without them.
Source: Isaac Hayes
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