Friday Night Lights’ Matt Lauria has signed on to co-star in the upcoming sequel to Shaft.
New Line’s reboot of the iconic detective franchise would be news enough on its own, with Samuel L Jackson playing the role of John Shaft himself – after playing the nephew of the detective back in the 2000 film – and original Shaft Richard Roundtree also expected to appear. But earlier this year, it became a potentially game-changing project, as Netflix inked a deal with New Line to co-produce and distribute the movie. The streaming giant, which is coughing up the cash for more than have of the film’s budget, will release the film worldwide on Netflix just two weeks after its US cinema release in June 2019.
Matt Lauria has become the latest name attached the Tim Story-directed film. Lauria, who recently appeared in the cancelled MMA drama Kingdom (available exclusively on Virgin in the UK), joins a cast that includes Jessie T. Usher, Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp, and Cliff “Method Man” Smith. Details of his role are not yet known.
What we do know is that the movie will follow John Shaft Jr., who, while working for the FBI, has to enlist his estranged father to find out who killed his best friend and bring down a drug and money-laundering ring in New York. It is written by Alex Barnow and Black-ish creator Kenya Barris, who is producing alongside John Davis.
Netflix nears landmark deal for streaming rights to Shaft reboot
4th October 2017
Netflix is near to closing a landmark deal for the streaming rights to the upcoming Shaft reboot.
The streaming giant has been a major disruptive force in the movie biz, with its day-and-date, worldwide approach driving an industry-wide debate about the old-school theatrical window and whether to shorten it to release titles online. As Hollywood debates about premium VOD window continue, Netflix and New Line are busy inking an agreement that could set the standard for cinema and streaming’s future relationship.
Deadline reports that New Line’s reboot of Shaft May be headed to Netflix, with talks almost complete in bringing the world’s coolest private eye to subscribers globally. While that would normally have to wait until the movie had been in cinemas for the usual few months, though, this deal would allow Netflix to distribute the film outside of America just two weeks after the US cinema release.
The site’s sources say the film will have a traditional release model on domestic soil, moving from theatrical to DVD and SVOD via Warner Bros – a move that is expected to allay any concerns about US cinema chains, who are fiercely defending their theatrical window, but the proposal to accelerate ancillary overseas deals could be a game-changer in the industry, as studios try to work out a way to keep everyone happy while still moving forwards with technology and changing audience behaviour.
Deadline notes that it could be especially influential for genre films; while typical films rely on international tickets for 75 per cent of their box office gross, genre fare normally generates most of its theatrical takings in the US, rather than in overseas territories. New Line and director Tim Story, meanwhile, benefit from getting a bigger budget to play with: as part of the deal, Netflix will reportedly fund more than half of the $30 million budget.
The Shaft reboot is written by black-ish creator Kenya Barris, with Samuel L Jackson playing the role of John Shaft himself – after playing the nephew of the iconic detective back in the 2000 flick. Independence Day: Resurgence star Jessie T Usher will play Shaft’s son, a young FBI agent who specialises in cyber crime and is forced to work with his estranged dad on a case. Richard Roundtree, who played the original New York detective, is also expected to reprise his role, following a similar cameo part in 2000’s Shaft.
Production on the movie begins in December.