Shaft (2019 film)

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Shaft (2019) film poster.png
Teaser poster
Directed byTim Story
Produced by
Screenplay by
Based onShaft
by Ernest Tidyman
Music byChristopher Lennertz
CinematographyLarry Blanford
Edited byConrad Buff IV
Distributed by
  • Warner Bros. Pictures
    (United States)
  • Netflix
Release date
  • June 14, 2019 (2019-06-14) (United States)[1]
Running time
111 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$30–35 million[3][4]
Box office$11.1 million[2]

Shaft is a 2019 American action comedy film directed by Tim Story and written by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow. The film stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie Usher, and Richard Roundtree. It is the fifth film in the Shaft film series and a sequel to the 2000 film with the same title. Unlike its predecessor, which was distributed by Paramount Pictures, this film will be produced by New Line Cinema and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, who owns the first three features and the TV series due to its acquisition of the pre-1986 MGM library when it absorbed Turner Entertainment through the Time Warner formation in 1996.

The film was released theatrically in the United States on June 14, 2019 by Warner Bros. Pictures, and will be released in international markets on June 28, 2019 by Netflix. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who viewed it as dated and bland, and grossed $11 million.


John "JJ" Shaft Jr. (Jessie Usher) is an FBI agent[5] and a cybersecurity expert with a degree from MIT.[6] After his best friend dies under suspicious circumstances, he turns to his estranged father—the legendary John Shaft II (Samuel L. Jackson)—to uncover the truth. Father and son must navigate the Harlem underworld to solve the crime. Along the way they team up with the first generation and JJ’s grandfather, John Shaft (Richard Roundtree).



On February 18, 2015, it was announced that New Line Cinema had acquired the rights to Shaft, based on the famous police character, John Shaft, and would develop a new film within the series along with producer John Davis of Davis Entertainment.[7] On July 28, 2015, it was reported that Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow would be writing the script for the new film, which would also be produced by Ira Napoliello.[8] On January 20, 2017, the studio hired Tim Story to direct the film.[9] On August 18, 2017, Jessie Usher was cast to play the lead role as the son of Samuel L. Jackson's John Shaft II from the 2000 film, while Richard Roundtree and Jackson would reprise their roles from the previous films.[5]

In October 2017, Netflix signed a deal with New Line Cinema to cover more than half of the film's $30 million budget in exchange for the rights, which allowed Netflix to release the film on its platform outside of the United States two weeks after the theatrical release in the U.S.[10]

Filming began in February 2018.[11] It was reported that the film already wrapped up production in the early part of the year but the cast went back to re-shoot some scenes in Atlanta in August 2018.[12]


Shaft was theatrically released on June 14, 2019 in the United States, by Warner Bros.[13] Netflix, who paid $6–7 million for the rights to the film, will release it internationally on June 28, 2019.[10]


Box office[edit]

In the United States and Canada, Shaft was released alongside Men in Black: International, as well as the wide expansion of Late Night, and was initially projected to gross $17–20 million from 2,950 theaters in its opening weekend.[4][3] However after film made just $2.7 million on its first day ($600,000 from Thursday night previews), estimates were lowered to $7 million. It went on to debut to just $8.3 million, finishing sixth at the box office.[14]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 35% based on 79 reviews from critics, with an average rating of 4.89/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "Decades removed from the original, this multi-generational Shaft struggles to keep its characters interesting -- or anything other than uncomfortably outdated."[15] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 40 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[16] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave the film an average 4 out of 5 stars and a 51% "definite recommend".[14]

Writing for The A. V. Club, Ignatiy Vishnevetsky gave the film a C, writing, "With its groaner jokes and TV-pilot production values, the new film makes the last attempt at updating the character to contemporary action-hero tastes (in 2000's Shaft, directed by the late John Singleton) look downright old-school. And its identity crises go a lot deeper than the title it confusingly shares with two earlier films."[17]


  1. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (November 29, 2017). "Warner Bros. Moves 'Tag' Up, Sets 2019 Release For 'Shaft' & 'The Goldfinch'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  2. ^ a b "Shaft (2019)". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  3. ^ a b Fuster, Jeremy (June 11, 2019). "Can 'Men in Black: International' Bring in Moviegoers Without Will Smith?". TheWrap. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  4. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony; Tartaglione, Nancy (June 12, 2019). "Can 'Men In Black: International' Travel To $100M+ Worldwide Opening?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 12, 2019.
  5. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (August 18, 2017). "Jessie T. Usher Tapped As Son Of Shaft; Samuel L. Jackson, Richard Roundtree Reprise". Deadline. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  6. ^ Butler, Karen (January 20, 2018). "Samuel L. Jackson and Jessie T. Usher back to work on 'Shaft'". UPI. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  7. ^ Sneider, Jeff (February 18, 2015). "'Shaft' Reboot in the Works at New Line With 'Predator' Producer (Exclusive)". TheWrap. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  8. ^ Kit, Borys (July 28, 2015). "'Shaft' Getting Remake from 'Black-ish' Creator (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  9. ^ Fleming Jr, Mike (January 20, 2017). "Tim Story To Direct New Version Of 'Shaft' For New Line". Deadline. Retrieved August 19, 2017.
  10. ^ a b Fleming Jr, Mike (October 2, 2017). "Netflix Makes 'Shaft' Reboot Deal That Could Change The Model For Urban-Themed Films". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 28, 2018.
  11. ^ Burwick, Kevin (February 2, 2018). "3 Generations of Shaft Unite as Son of Shaft Begins Shooting". MovieWeb.
  12. ^ "Casting Call! Shaft returns for re-shoots!". WXIA. Retrieved 2018-11-07.
  13. ^ McNary, Dave (November 29, 2017). "'Shaft' Sequel and Ansel Elgort's 'Goldfinch' Get 2019 Release Dates". Variety. Retrieved February 26, 2018.
  14. ^ a b D'Alessandro, Anthony (June 16, 2019). "'Men In Black: International' Domestic Passport Revoked With $26M Opening, 'Shaft' Drops His Gun With $7M+: Summer Sequelitis, Here We Go Again". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 16, 2019.
  15. ^ "Shaft (2019)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  16. ^ "Shaft Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 19, 2019.
  17. ^ Vishnevetsky, Ignatiy (June 12, 2019). "We Can't Dig This Shaft". The A. V. Club. Retrieved June 12, 2019.

External links[edit]