Three Generations Of 'Shaft' Unite In First Look Photo

Director Tim Story (2005's Fantastic Four, Ride Along) is resurrecting the long-dormant Shaft franchise with a new movie next summer, bringing actor Richard Roundtree back to reprise his role from the original 1970s blaxploitation movies and luring Samuel L. Jackson back as his nephew, John Shaft II, from the 2000 sequel. Joining them as the youngest member of the family is Jessie T. Usher (Independence Day: Resurgence), and a new photo shows all three of them together for the first time. Check it out below.

Entertainment Weekly debuted this new photo, which also gives us our first glimpse at Alexandra Shipp's character (Shipp played Storm in X-Men: Apocalypse). In the movie, Usher plays John Shaft Jr., the estranged son of Jackson's character and a cyber security expert at the FBI. Jackson referred to working for the FBI as "sort of anti-Shaft family values," so Junior gets a little "reshaping" by his elders when he comes to his dad for help.

Though Jackson will be reprising his role from the 2000 movie, he says his version of Shaft has settled down some in the nineteen years since. "He's mellowed a bit. He's not quite as crazy and cynical. Maybe a bit more devil-may-care the last time we saw him. But still an extremely dangerous and funny character." As for what all three Shaft men have in common, Jackson has an answer for that, too:

"He's always that tough but fair, well-dressed cynical guy with the right one-liner. All of those things work to make somebody cool across the generations. It's enduring. We don't have a lot of heroes, so the ones we have, we hold on to."

Here's the official synopsis for Shaft:

"Shaft" is the next chapter in the film franchise featuring the coolest private eye on any New York City block. 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.

Story directs a script by Alex Barnow (The Goldbergs) and Kenya Barris (Black-ish), and we're still trying to find out if this movie is going to end up at Netflix internationally two weeks after its theatrical debut.

Shaft blasts into theaters on June 14, 2019.