Jessie T. Usher has been cast in the titular role in Son of Shaft, a reboot of the Shaft detective film series that will also star Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree. Introduced to film audiences in 1971 by legendary filmmaker Gordon Parks, Shaft starred Roundtree as suave private detective John Shaft, who was hired by a crime boss to recover his kidnapped daughter.
The film – which earned Isaac Hayes a Best Original Song Oscar for "Theme from Shaft" – was such a big hit that it spawned the sequels Shaft's Big Score! in 1972 and Shaft in Africa in 1974, as well as a Shaft TV series that ran for seven episodes in 1973 and 1974. Shaft certainly made an impression on Jackson, who starred in director John Singleton's 2000 sequel to the original Shaft films playing John Shaft, the nephew of the original character, reprised by Roundtree.
Now it appears that the story of the family Shaft will continue with Son of Shaft starring Usher, who previously played Will Smith's adult son in Independence Day: Resurgence and currently stars as the lead in the STARZ series Survivors Remorse. According to Deadline, New Line and director Tim Story (Ride Along) searched months to find the right actor for the film, which will find John Shaft (Jackson) teaming with his long-estranged son (Usher), an FBI cyber security expert.
The publication says the partnership between father and son will result in "an uneasy collision of old school meets new school." Jackson is reportedly in negotiations to join the film, and sources tell Deadline that Roundtree is also on-board. Son of Shaft is set to begin production in late fall.
It's surprising that it's taken so long for another Shaft film starring Jackson, considering the 2000 sequel (which also starred Christian Bale as Shaft's nemesis), made a solid $107.1 million at the global box office against a $46 million budget. Granted, Jackson's been one of the busiest actors in the business, but fortunately he's doing enough action-oriented films like The Avengers and most recently, The Hitman’s Bodyguard to keep himself in great shape to take on whatever physical demands Son of Shaft imposes.
As much as Jackson will bring to the reboot, Roundtree's return to Son of Shaft is more essential. After all, his portrayal of the super-cool PI is iconic, and his presence was huge in the 2000 sequel (along with a remake by Hayes of his classic theme song and its catch phrase "Can you dig it?"). His and Jackson's influence on Usher will no doubt go a long way in fans digging the welcome reboot.
Screen Rant will keep you updated on Son of Shaft as more information becomes available.