Shaft

a/k/a Son of Shaft

Release Date:  6/14/2019; In Theaters
Genre:   Drama
Rating:  Unknown
Director:   Tim Story
Studio(s):  Davis Entertainment, Khalabo Ink Society, New Line Cinema, Netflix
Running time:  Unknown

Cast:  Richard Roundtree, Samuel L. Jackson (John Shaft), Jessie T. Usher, Alexandra Shipp, Avan Jogia, Regina Hall, Matt Lauria (Cutty), Method Man (Freddie P.), Isaach De Bankolé (Gordito), Method Man.

Story:  JJ, aka John Shaft, Jr. (Usher), may be a cyber security expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, he needs an education only his dad can provide. Absent throughout JJ’s youth, 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.  Source:  IMDB.

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Details:   Avan Jogia has been cast in New Line’s reboot of Shaft. He joins previously announced cast members Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher, Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp and Richard Roundtree.  Tim Story will direct a script from Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow which will follow a nerdy FBI agent who launches his own investigation after his friend dies under suspicious circumstances. Needing help with the case, he reluctantly enlists the help from his estranged father — the legendary, stuck-in-the-80s-but-still-cool-as-hell titular John Shaft.

New Line and Netflix are partnering on this film with Netflix financing more than half the film’s high $30M budget for international rights and will stream Shaft outside of the U.S. after New Line releases it theatrically domestically.  

Back in 1971, Gordon Parks helmed the now-classic blaxploitation film Shaft, starring Richard Roundtree as John Shaft, the black private dick who’s a sex machine to all the chicks. The film spawned a few sequels, and then in 2000, John Singleton directed a remake starring Samuel L. Jackson in the title role. The Singleton/Jackson version went light on the lady killer aspects of the original, and instead focused on a murder mystery.  Source(s):  Slash Film; Deadline.  Photo Source:  Movieweb.

 

Aaliyah: Princess of R&B

Shipp as AaliyahRelease Date:  11/15/14 (Lifetime TV)
Genre:  Drama/Biography
Rating:  NR
Running Time:  Unknown
Studio:  Aaliyah Productions, Lifetime Television
Director:  Bradley Walsh

Cast:  Alexandra Shipp (Aaliyah Haughton), Elise Neal (Gladys Knight), Christopher Jacot (Ryan Nichols), Lyriq Bent (Barry Hankerson), Rachael Crawford (Diane Haughton), Clé Bennett (R. Kelly), Sterling Jarvis (Michael Haughton), A. J. Saudin (Rashad Haughton), Chattrisse Dolabaille (Missy Elliott), Izaak Smith (Timbaland), Anthony Grant (Damon Dash).

Story:  The two-hour movie event is executive produced by Howard Braunstein, Debra Martin Chase and Wendy Williams, and is based on the bestseller Aaliyah: More Than a Woman by former Time Magazine music editor Christopher John Farley. 

Before Beyoncé and before Rihanna, self-proclaimed “street but sweet” Aaliyah was poised to become a global icon with top-selling albums, a hot movie career and an adoring fan base. The film follows the beautiful and talented performer’s inspirational journey, from her debut on “Star Search” at the age of ten to the challenges she faced during her rise to become the Princess of R&B. On August 25, 2001, at the height of her popularity, her life was tragically cut short when a plane carrying the singer and some of her video crew crashed after takeoff from a Bahamian runway. Although just 22-years-old at the time of her death, Aaliyah continues to lead a legacy as Billboard’s tenth most famous R&B artist of the past 25 years and one of the recording industry’s most successful artists in history. Sources: Lifetime; IMDB.  Photo Source:  Lifetime.

See what the critics are saying about this film at Critics’ Connection.

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Drumline: A New Beat

DrumlineRelease Date:  10/27/14
Genre:  Comedy/Drama
Rating:  Not Available
Studio(s):  Fox Television Studios /VH1 Television
Director:  Billie Woodruff
Cast:  Nick Cannon (Devon Miles), Alexandra Shipp (Dani), Jordan Calloway (Jayven), Leonard Roberts (Sean Taylor), Lisa Arrindell Anderson (Lois Bolton), Letoya Luckett (Dr. Nia Phillips), Jasmine Burke (Tasha), Kamille Leai (Lori) Jackie Goldston (Dean Scott), Rome Flynn (Leon), Scott Shilstone (Josh), Jeff Pierre (Tyree)

Story:  Drumline: A New Beat will focus on a new set of characters at Atlanta A&T University — the setting of the original movie. The story follows Dani Bolton (Shipp), an upper-class Brooklyn girl who defies her parents in order to attend Atlanta A&T so she can join — and revitalize — its once-prominent drumline.

Dani’s quest to become the first female section leader of the drumline in the school’s history will be hampered by upperclassmen, including her cousin, Tyree (Jeff Pierre, Glee), head of the percussion section and her feelings for fellow bandmate Jayven (Jordan Calloway, Unfabulous), an extremely gifted, yet cocky freshman.

Leonard Roberts will reprise his role as Sean Taylor, now a determined band director looking to make his mark at his alma mater while navigating the ghosts of his past. Cannon will executive produce and reprise his role as Devon Miles in a cameo. Letoya Luckett (Single Ladies) will portray Dr. Nia Phillips, the intelligent and determined dean at Atlanta A&T with former romantic ties to Sean. Her support of Sean’s return to lead A&T’s band proves to be difficult as the Panthers take on a rival band led by Phillips’ ex-husband — and Sean’s brother — Kevin Taylor. Jasmine Burke (Ride Along) is set as Tasha Williams, one of Dani’s roommates who is wooed by Josh (Scott Shilstone, Now You See Me).  Source: The Hollywood Reporter.

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Details:  The first Drumline featured a talented street drummer from Harlem who enrolls in a Southern university, was a success for Fox, grossing close to $60 million. The sequel may be a possible pilot to a potential Drumline series on VH-1. Source(s): Deadline; Shadow & Act.