New Line Cinema talkin' 'bout 'Shaft' reboot

New Line Cinema talkin' 'bout 'Shaft' reboot
Richard Roundtree in the 1972 film "Shaft," which will be getting a reboot from New Line Cinema. (MGM Pictures)

"Shaft," the 1971 blaxploitation classic about the cat that won't cop out when there's danger all about, is getting the reboot treatment.

New Line Cinema is developing a new take on the film, a library title of parent company Warner Bros., with producer John Davis ("I, Robot," "The Blacklist"), The Times has confirmed. The Wrap first reported the news.

Directed by Gordon Parks, the original "Shaft" starred Richard Roundtree as the tough-as-nails — but still smooth-as-silk — private eye John Shaft, who's called upon to find a Harlem crime kingpin's daughter and prevent an all-out gang war.

A box-office hit, "Shaft" spawned two direct sequels, a short-lived TV series and a host of imitators in the 1970s. It also won an Oscar for original song for Isaac Hayes' "Theme From Shaft."

In 2000, John Singleton directed a contemporary-set sequel for Paramount Pictures starring Samuel L. Jackson as an NYPD detective and nephew of Roundtree's character. That film grossed a solid $107 million worldwide (on a $46 million budget) and received mixed to favorable reviews.

Details have yet to emerge about what form the main character of the new "Shaft" will take, and there's no writer, director or star at this stage.

Both New Line and Davis have some experience rebooting franchises, including the former's "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and "Friday the 13th" and the latter's "Predator."

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