Times change. Shafts change. And the new Shaft is going to be played by Jessie T. Usher, the star of Independence Day: Resurgence and Survivor’s Remorse.
Jessie T. Usher won’t just be any Shaft, either. He’ll play the son of Shaft in director Tim Story’s Son of Shaft, a film that will take place in the same continuity as the original films, which starred Richard Roundtree, and also John Singleton’s reboot, which starred Samuel L. Jackson as the nephew of the original John Shaft. Deadline reports that Son of Shaft plans to reunite all the Shaft stars, but it doesn’t clarify which of the two previous Shafts will play Jessie T. Usher’s father in the new film.
The report also reveals that the new Shaft is a different kind of crimefighter than his predecessors, an FBI agent “cyber expert” who has to team up with his estranged father in what Deadline calls “an uneasy collision of old school meets new school.”
John Shaft was created by novelist and screenwriter Ernest Tidyman, who wrote seven novels featuring the private detective, and the first two feature films in the series. Shaft quickly became a pop culture milestone who inspired a short-lived television series, the afore-mentioned reboot, comic books and endless references to his iconic, Oscar-winning theme song by Isaac Hayes.
Son of Shaft will be written by Kenya Barris, the creator of the hit television series Black-ish, and is expected to be a more comedic take on the character, a decision that was met with controversy when it was originally announced two years ago.
Top Photo: Maarten de Boer/Getty Images
William Bibbiani (everyone calls him ‘Bibbs’) is Crave’s film content editor and critic. You can hear him every week on Canceled Too Soon and watch him on the weekly YouTube series What the Flick. Follow his rantings on Twitter at @WilliamBibbiani.