EXCLUSIVE: New Line has set Tim Story to direct its reboot of Shaft, continuing the lore of the iconic private eye John Shaft originated by Richard Roundtree in the 1971 Gordon Parks-directed film. Samuel L. Jackson played his nephew in the John Singleton-directed 2000 remake. The new film has a script by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow, and John Davis, Ira Napoliello and Barris are producing.
New Line is keeping the plot under the cone, but I’ve heard the idea is to reinvigorate the franchise with a focus on the son of the cool private eye who always finds himself navigating the gray terrain between the law and organized crime in New York City. The original, released during a fertile time for “blaxploitation” films, was elevated by the Oscar-winning theme song nominated score by Isaac Hayes and grossed $13 million on a $500,000 budget. Singleton’s reprise grossed nearly $110 million worldwide. Parks and Roundtree made two direct sequels, and the original has held up well, added to the U.S. National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2000.
Story last directed Ride Along 2 and Kevin Hart: What Now? He’s got Ride Along 3 and the Ice Cube-as-Scrooge tale Humbug at Universal and Motown Hustle at Fox. On the TV side, he directed the pilot for White Famous, the series that Showtime just picked up that stars Jay Pharoah and is based on the early career of Jamie Foxx. That’s one of seven pilots Story set up last year.
He’s repped by UTA and attorney Matt Johnson at Ziffren.