Just when you were wondering who the cat is who won’t cop out when there’s danger all about, along comes the first trailer for Shaft with an action-packed answer.
The fifth installment of the Shaft franchise, the upcoming film brings together three generations of men in the Shaft family — the original John Shaft, John Shaft II, and John Shaft III — for another adventure in the criminal underworld of Harlem.
New Line Cinema released the trailer for Shaft, a follow-up to 2000’s similarly titled Shaft, which introduced Samuel Jackson as John “J.J.” Shaft II. The new film casts Independence Day: Resurgence actor Jessie T. Usher as John Shaft III, an FBI agent and Massachusetts Institute of Technology-educated cybersecurity expert who finds himself in Harlem investigating the death of a friend. Forced to enlist the help of his estranged father, John Shaft II (Jackson), J.J. soon gets caught up in a case that demands both his technical know-how and his father’s formidable street smarts to solve — and eventually draws in the man they were both named after, the first John Shaft.
Original Shaft star Richard Roundtree reprises his most famous role as the “bad mother” who spawned three films featuring the hard-hitting, lady-romancing, smooth-talking private detective. The cast is filled out by Regina Hall (Barbershop: The Next Cut, The Hate U Give), Alexandra Shipp (X-Men: Apocalypse), Matt Lauria (Friday Night Lights), Titus Welliver (Bosch), and Wu-Tang Clan founding member (and actor) Cliff “Method Man” Smith (Keanu, HBO’s The Deuce).
Shaft is directed by Tim Story (Barbershop, Fantastic Four) from a script penned by Kenya Barris (Girls Trip, Black-ish) and Alex Barnow (The Goldbergs). The character of John Shaft is inspired by author and original Shaft screenwriter Ernest Tidyman’s novel of the same name.
The first Shaft was released in 1971, and was followed by two sequels: 1972’s Shaft’s Big Score! and 1973’s Shaft in Africa. Jackson rebooted the franchise with 2000’s Shaft, which was a moderate critical and commercial success. The upcoming film is expected to pivot into more action-comedy territory, as evidenced by the trailer’s emphasis on humor.
Shaft is scheduled to hit theaters June 14.
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