Warner Bros. have announced a number of new release dates for some of their most interesting upcoming projects, including Shaft. The comedy Tag is being brought forward by two weeks in 2018, and the literary adaptation The Goldfinch is being given a fall date for 2019. The biggest news though is the confirmed date for the reboot of the classic Blaxploitation movie Shaft, which is encouragingly being given a prime summer 2019 release, and that could be read as a firm vote of confidence for the property.
The original Shaft was shown in theaters in 1971 and starred Richard Roundtree as the titular private detective John Shaft. A box office hit at the time, it made a cultural impact and even won an Oscar for best original score. After two sequels and a very short-lived TV series on CBS in 1973-74 (all with Roundtree reprising the role), the character remained dormant until 2000. In that year, Samuel L. Jackson was the lead in the new updated action-thriller. In reality it was a sequel to the previous films as he played the same-named nephew to Roundtree's original Shaft, who also made an appearance. It made a worldwide gross of $107m from a $46m budget but no further sequels were made at the time. News of a reboot started to circulate in early 2015. Then at the start of this year Tim Story was confirmed as the director for the project, with later updates stating that Jackson and Roundtree would be appearing as their respective incarnations of the detective.
Related: Shaft Movie Reboot in the Works
Now Deadline has reported that Warner Bros. have given this 'reboot' of Shaft the release date of June 14, 2019. This time the story will reportedly focus on the son of Jackson's John Shaft, who is a geeky millennial FBI computer analyst investigating the death of a friend, and reluctantly asks for help from his estranged father. The next-generation of the Shaft family tree is being played by Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence), and the film is being listed as Son of Shaft, although it's not clear if that will be the final title yet.
Alexandra Shipp has been cast as the female lead and the summer release seems to indicate a fair amount of confidence in the film by the studio. Hopefully the mixture of the classic cast and the younger characters will make for a perfect combination for the mid-year theater audiences. Story is a seasoned director with the likes of the Ride Along movies, and hopefully there will be plenty of action and '70s call-backs to make it an entertaining watch.
Warner Bros. have also brought the film Tag up from June 29 to June 15 next year. A comedy with a large ensemble cast including Jeremy Renner, Rashida Jones, and Annabelle Wallis, it tells the true story of a globe-trotting version of the children's game taken to extremes by adults. Another movie given a release date is The Goldfinch, a coming of age story about a boy affected by a terrorist incident in an art museum, which is based on an award-winning novel by American author Donna Tartt. It stars Ansel Elgort and Sarah Paulson, and will be arriving at theaters on Oct 11, 2019. Hopefully all three productions will be worth waiting for, and we'll bring you more news about Shaft and the other Warner Bros. films as we get it.