Late last night, Warner Bros. dropped the first trailer for Tim Story's Shaft, a "legacy sequel" featuring the original Shaft (Richard Roundtree), John Singleton's 2000 Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson), and a younger, perhaps slightly less confident Shaft for 2019 (Jessie T. Usher).
Let's take a look.
Right off the bat, I'm surprised by the tone here - this Shaft looks funnier, a bit more rollicking and less gritty than some previous entries in this franchise. Then again, I suppose the pronounced lean into comedy shouldn't surprise us. For one thing, Story's best known for his work in that genre (see also: the Ride Along movies, Barbershop, Think Like a Man). For another, this is the same production which released this one-sheet earlier in the week:
The bulk of this trailer's devoted to introducing the various generations of the Shaft family, so here's an official plot synopsis that explains what they're all gonna be doing together:
"JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Usher), may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, he needs an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly. And while JJ’s own FBI analyst’s badge may clash with his dad’s trademark leather duster, there’s no denying family. Besides, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s professional and personal."
Seems like the new Shaft could be a lot of fun (if nothing else, you can tell Jackson, Roundtree and Usher are clearly having a ball playing these characters), but what do you folks think? Gonna give this one a go when it hits theaters on June 14th? Sound off in the comments below, and stay tuned for further Shaft updates as they become available.