'Shaft' Getting Remake from 'Black-ish' Creator (Exclusive)

Kenya Barris will write the script with Alex Barnow, a writer and executive producer on ABC's 'The Goldbergs.'
1971's 'Shaft'  Courtesy of Photofest

New Line wants to give you the shaft.

The company, which opens the reboot of Vacation on Wednesday, is in development on a reboot of Shaft, the cult Blaxploitation movie from the 1970s.

Black-ish creator Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow, an executive producer-writer on ABC’s The Goldbergs, have been tapped to write the script.

John Davis, who is producing the upcoming Man from U.N.C.L.E. reboot and the new take on Frankenstein with Victor Frankenstein, is producing with Ira Napoliello.

The original movie told of a private detective named John Shaft, played by Richard Roundtree, who is hired to find a missing girl in Harlem. The movie was on the leading edge of Blaxploitation, a new genre that seemed to embrace and empower a rising black culture (although some said it only enforced stereotypes). The soundtrack by Isaac Hayes (the theme is one of filmdom’s classics) also contributed to the film’s cult status.

Shaft got a slick and polished 21st century reboot in 2000 when John Singleton directed Samuel L. Jackson, who played the nephew of the character.

This new iteration will have a comedic tone but will retain its action roots.

Richard Brener and Samuel J. Brown are overseeing for the studio.

Barris’ Black-ish mixes race and comedy as it tells of a black family living in a mostly white upper-class neighborhood. The show’s Anthony Anderson is up for an Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a comedy category.

Barris, repped by CAA, Principato-Young Entertainment and Morris Yorn, also worked on Barbershop 3, currently in production, and has a big-screen version of TV show Good Times in development as well as an untitled girls trip comedy that Will Packer is producing at Universal.

In addition to his work on Goldbergs, Barnow co-created the Matthew Perry comedy Mr. Sunshine and was a staff writer on The Family Guy. He is repped by UTA and Hansen Jacobson.

Barris and Barnow previously teamed up for an untitled comedy about a white guy who begins to hear Ice Cube’s voice in his head, which New Line picked up earlier this spring.

July 28, 2015, 6:06 pm Updated to clarify tone of the project.

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