Though it was announced nearly two years ago, there hasn’t been much in the way of news regarding New Line Cinema’s Shaft reboot since that point. Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow have been working on the script, which is rumored to be a more dramatic take on the title character than comedic, setting it apart from the 2000 version of Shaft. Still, without a director or bankable star attached to the project, there was legitimate reason to think the project would end up stalled indefinitely.
Now, however, the Shaft reboot has solved at least one of those issues by finally finding its director in Tim Story. Known for more comedic efforts like the Ride Along films, Story has been on a box office roll lately and hiring him to helm the film seems like a calculated move by New Line Cinema.
According to Deadline, New Line has brought Story on board the Shaft reboot to direct Barris and Barnow’s script. While there’s still not a lot of information on the plot or the exact tone, the rumor is that the film will focus more on character John Shaft’s son in an attempt to “reinvigorate the franchise” and make it a more fresh experience for today’s audience.
With Story formally attached to the Shaft reboot, it’s now really only a matter of time before the film finds its title character. Though there’s been no concrete information to suggest who may be taking up the role, a possible answer can be found by just looking at Story’s filmography. Many directors work with the same actors multiple times, and Story is no different - so is it at all likely that fans might see Ice Cube or Kevin Hart in the role? Perhaps, but that's far from a given at this stage.
There’s also the aforementioned rumor of Shaft focusing more on the title character’s son which, if true, probably means the film casting a fresher face in that role and casting a well-known actor for John Shaft himself. This would certainly fit with Hollywood’s newfound reboot method of using older, more well-known actors to effectively pass the torch of a franchise to the next generation of actors. Again, though, there’s very little information regarding the Shaft reboot and New Line Cinema is obviously playing things pretty close to the chest.
Regardless, while the 2000 Shaft, which starred Samuel L. Jackson as the title character (who is actually original Shaft Richard Roundtree’s nephew in the continuity) and Christian Bale filling the villainous role, was well-received overall – grossing $107 million on a $46 million budget – some fans may be less than pleased with the idea of yet another reboot permeating cinemas nation-wide. Still, considering Story’s extremely successful Ride Along films – with a third film on the way – and the Shaft brand name alone, it’s hard not to think that New Line Cinema has a potential box office hit on their hands.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on any Shaft information as it becomes available.