The original Shaft was a 1970s blaxsploitation action movie. Over the course of 30 years, Richard Rountree’s character became an icon of the genre, resulting in a sequel/reboot in 2000 that starred Samuel L. Jackson in the title role. Now, almost 20 years after that movie, Samuel L. Jackson is back and he’s bringing the same action he brought last time, along with some humor and a new generation. Check out the first trailer below.
The Isaac Hayes theme song is there, which means it’s impossible to not recognize the new movie from the first moments of the new trailer. Though the first member of the Shaft family that we see isn’t Samuel L. Jackson’s version of the character, but rather Jessie Usher as John Shaft Jr., known as JJ, It seems that he’s looking to enlist his father’s help in investigating something, but he himself isn’t necessarily cut out for the Shaft way of doing things.
The father and son don’t seem to know each other very well, so we’ll go along for the ride as they bond and JJ gets a bit of an education in Shaft style street justice. At the same time, it looks like Samuel L. Jackson’s Shaft may get something of an education himself, as times have certainly changed, and Shaft’s style might not not necessarily mix well in a modern setting.
While the previous Shaft films weren’t without their humor, the new Shaft is set to be much more of an action-comedy than previous installments, something the creator of the character is not happy about. The clash of cultures looks to be the focus more than the standard “kickass and ask questions never” action.
Having said that, the trailer makes it clear that the newest Shaft will be “joining the family business” so to speak, so there’s going to be no lack of action.
And of course, the trailer also shows us that [Richard Roundtree](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shaft(1971film), the original Shaft will be in the film as well as the eldest generation, making every Shaft movie, including, I guess, Shaft in Africa, part of a single, continuous, franchise. It is great to see Roundtree coming back to the character after 50 years. Regina Hall will also star as the mother of the youngest Shaft.
It will be interesting to see how a new Shaft movie plays in a modern setting. A lot has changed in our culture even since the Samuel L. Jackson movie from 2000 and many of the character’s rougher edges might not seem as entertaining as they once did. Will the movie ultimately change Shaft in order to make the character more palatable, or will he stand as a testament to the character’s roots in a different era?
We’ll find out just how much of a bad mother the new Shaft is when it hits theaters in June.