Sunday, May 19, 2024

Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher & Richard Roundtree Talk Cool vs. Corny in ‘Shaft’ (EUR Exclusive/WATCH!)

*Three generations of “Shaft have come together for the 2019 New Line Cinema reboot of the franchise. Richard Roundtree, Samuel L. Jackson, and Jessie T Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence)star in the updated version.

76-year-old Roundtree was the original Shaft star in the award-winning 1971 film. Jackson, 70, is reprising his role as John Shaft II from the 2000 film directed by the late John Singleton, and 27-year-old franchise newcomer Usher will portray John Shaft Jr.

This version has a more comedic edge than the original Blaxploitation-era classic and 2000 version of the film. We’re introduced to  JJ, aka John Shaft Jr., a cybersecurity expert with a degree from MIT. When JJ’s childhood best friend dies under mysterious circumstances, he makes the decision to enlist the help of his estranged father, to get an education that only his dad can provide.

“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 coat, there’s no denying family. Besides, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s professional and personal.”

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Shaft-2019-Samuel-L-Jackson-JessieUsher-RichardRoundtree
via Warner Bros.

EURweb’s Jill Munroe sat down with the three stars to talk working together, Shaft’s coolness and cheesy pick-up lines. Roundtree reflected on the opportunity to see his character of “Shaft” evolve 40-years later to include working with his grandson.

“Having been here before, I was excited about it. I knew what I was going to get from this guy (Sam,) but seeing what the young guy was going to bring to the show. It was a process, but when I came aboard – finally – it was nice to see, really cool.”

The film also stars Regina Hall as Maya, JJ’s mother and Alexandra Shipp (Love Simon, Dark Phoenix) as JJ’s other best friend Sasha, along with Luna Lauren Velez and Method Man. Tim Story (Ride Along 2) is the director, with a script written by Alex Barnow and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris.

“Shaft” opens in theatres on Friday, June 14.

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