The cat that won't cop out: Shaft to return for fifth film

Private detective made famous in classic 1971 ‘blaxploitation’ thriller to get another screen update, following the 2000 version featuring Samuel L Jackson

Supercool New York detective John Shaft is to return to the big screen for a second reboot of the celebrated 1971 blaxploitation flick, reports the Wrap.

Studio New Line is developing the new instalment, the fifth Shaft movie overall to hit cinemas, after acquiring the rights to the franchise. There are so far no casting details and no word on other members of the film-making team.

Shaft, with its Oscar-winning Isaac Hayes soundtrack, is probably the best known and certainly one of the most financially lucrative film of the 1970s blaxploitation era. Richard Roundtree starred as the ladykilling African American detective with a “duty to please that booty”, returning in two poorly-received sequels, 1972’s Shaft’s Big Score and 1973’s loss-making Shaft in Africa.

The first Shaft, directed by Gordon Parks and adapted by John DF Black and Ernest Tidyman from Tidyman’s 1970 novel of the same name, made a remarkable $13m at the box office – $72m in today’s money – and was considered one of the best films of the year by many critics. A reboot, with Samuel L Jackson as another John Shaft whose uncle was the original detective, grossed $107m in 2000 and was reasonably well-received.

John Davis of Davis Entertainment, who produced the original Predator and its 2010 sequel Predators, as well as Guy Ritchie’s upcoming The Man From UNCLE and David O Russell’s Joy, is leading the new version.


Ben Child

The GuardianTramp

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