John Shaft is a fictional character created by screenwriter/novelist Ernest Tidyman as a sort of African-American answer to Ian Fleming's James Bond. He was portrayed by Richard Roundtree in the original 1971 film and its two sequels, with Samuel L. Jackson portraying his nephew (also named John Shaft) in the 2000 version of the film. The blurb on the paperback on which the original film is based states Shaft is "Hotter than Bond, cooler than Bullitt."
Paramount Pictures is negotiating a deal with John Singleton to make another Shaft movie to star Richard Roundtree (as Samuel L. Jackson has stated he no longer has interest making another Shaft film). After the release of Shaft 2000, John Singleton planned a sequel where Shaft would battle drug lords in Jamaica. But Samuel L. Jackson's disappointment with the film prevented the film from being made. It is believed that the film will be based on the forementioned premise with Roundtree leading.
Richard Roundtree has signed on to do three Shaft sequels (the first two which will be filmed back to back), and has the option to write and direct the third. The first film is set to begin filming in the summer of 2010 for a 2011 release. It is still undetermined weither or not if the films will be theatrical or straight to dvd.
The television show ran from 1973–1974, with Richard Roundtree reprising the role of John Shaft. There were seven 90-minute movies, part of the New CBS Tuesday Night Movies, rotating with Hawkins, which starred James Stewart.
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Official Site: Paramount Pictures
Links: John Shaft Wikipedia page Shaft Wikipedia page Shaft imdb page