Deadline is reporting that filmmaker Tim Story, whose credits include Ride Along 2 and Kevin Hart: What Now?, has been elected director on New Line’s Shaft reboot.
Truth be told, it’s the first tangible sign of progress on the studio’s long-gestating redo in quite some time – more than a year ago, New Line brass stressed their desire to reinvent the story of Richard Roundtree’s iconic private eye, favoring drama over comedy and high-octane action – though there’s still no mention of an actor to take on the title role. Gordon Parks first brought the character to the silver screen back in 1971, before Samuel L. Jackson toed the line between cop and criminal in the John Singleton-directed 2000 remake.
Fast forward almost 20 years and Shaft is back in vogue once again. New Line is keeping plot details firmly under lock and key, but we understand the studio intends to reinvigorate the dormant franchise, one which thrived in the morally grey area of New York City’s seedy crime scene. It’s early days, then, but with Tim Story now officially on board, we expect New Line to place this one on the fast track. Kenya Barris, Alex Barnow and John Davis will leverage script duties, while Deadline’s report goes on to confirm that Ira Napoliello and Barris are producing.
Beyond Shaft, Tim Story is also negotiating a possible Ride Along 3 with Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, while the latter is poised to reunite with the director for the festive-themed Humbug at Universal.