How do you approach the exploits of John Shaft, the black private dick that's a sex machine to all the chicks in the 21st century? By making him more comedic seems to be the answer for New Line. That's part of the reason why the studio has tapped Black-ish sitcom creator Kenya Harris to write the film, alongside The Goldberg's Alex Barnow. The Hollywood Reporter says the new version will be comedic but retain its action roots.
That seems like a terrible idea to me! The idea of an ex-NYPD cop turned private eye having to deal with modern day black issues in New York City while also stopping bad guys could be totally, completely immediate. The Shaft sequel thing - with Samuel L. Jackson as Shaft's nephew - was a slick and pointless endeavour, but this new version could truly speak to the moment. My biggest fear reading this is that the movie will take some sort of anachronistic Shaft and throw him into the modern day, sort of a Brady Bunch Movie kind of thing. That would suck.
Of course I'll withhold judgment until such time as I see the movie, but David F. Walker, the guy who writes the current Shaft comics and novels, is not withholding his:
The new SHAFT movie will be a comedy?!? Fuck you, @NewLine_Cinema. That's right, the writer of SHAFT comics & novels says, "Fuck you!"— David F Walker (@DavidWalker1201) July 29, 2015