44 years after the original Shaft’s Richard Roundtree tossed jive-ass gangsters out of second-story windows, and 15 years after Samuel L. Jackson starred as his nephew in the 2000 film, the planned reboot is one step closer to bringing John Shaft back to the big screen. According to The Hollywod Reporter, Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and The Goldbergs executive producer Alex Barnow will team up to pen the script for a fresh take on the cat who won’t cop out. This collaboration is in addition to their greenlit pitch for a movie about a lame white guy who wakes up sharing his mind with Ice Cube.
Despite his incapability of being understood by anyone but his woman, Shaft has remained an enduring pop-culture character, and the 1971 film is a seminal entry in the blaxploitation genre. The screenwriters are planning to use humor to address racial tensions, while sticking to the original’s gumshoe-action roots. No director or leads have been attached yet, but New Line is actively moving forward, with Richard Brener and Samuel J. Brown overseeing the project.
While it’s unclear whether this would be a period piece or a gritty update, it may not matter. Given our love of Instagram-filtering new stuff to make it look like old stuff, and a growing disgust for systematic police violence against black people, could a new Shaft become a pop-culture rallying cry? You’re damn right.