When I was compiling my list of 25 movies that I hope to see in 2019, I knew that some movies would fall through the cracks. Case in point, the upcoming Shaft movie, the sequel to the 2000 Shaft movie, which is directed by Tim Story and starring Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Roundtree (the original Shaft), Jessie T. Usher, and Regina Hall.
According to Birth.Movies.Death, this is the synopsis:
JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Usher), may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, he needs an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly. And while JJ’s own FBI analyst’s badge may clash with his dad’s trademark leather duster, there’s no denying family. Besides, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s professional and personal.
The cyber security angle is a neat little way to update the franchise, and if the above trailer is any indication, the latest Shaft film is going for a much more broadly comedic tone. Which is fine, so long as it still means Samuel L. Jackson dropping F bombs with that panache that only he seems to possess.
On a sidenote, Netflix covered over half of the film’s $30 million budget in exchange for international rights and the right to stream Shaft outside the U.S. two weeks after it’s released in American theaters. According to Deadline, the deal “can be a useful template for makers of urban-themed or genre fare that normally does most of its theatrical business in the United States” and it gave director Story a bigger budget than he would’ve had otherwise. At the same time, “the deal will give [Netflix’s] international membership a film that is still hot in the U.S.”