Having already taken over the role of Ororo/Storm in Fox’s X-Men franchise with last year’s X-Men: Apocalypse, actor Alexandra Shipp is looking to add another prestigious role to her resumé, as she’s in talks to join Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher and original Shaft star Richard Roundtree in the reboot/sequel Son of Shaft.
Shipp would be the female lead in the film being made in a partnership between New Line and Netflix with Tim Story (Fantastic Four) directing and John Davis producing with black-ish creator Kenya Barris.. Ira Napoliello and Marc Fischer are exec. producers on the project.
The film is set to go into production next month with a reported budget of $30 mill. with Netflix footing about half the bill for the streaming rights outside the U.S. (New Line will release it in theaters domestically beforehand.)
Written by Barris and Alex Barnow (The Goldbergs), the film follows John Shaft Jr., as played by Jessie Usher, who is now working for the FBI and trying not to follow the same path as his father (Jackson) while trying to discover who killed his best friend with his father’s help.
Richard Roundtree originated the character of Shaft in the 1971 movie directed by Gordon Parks, considered to be the best of that era’s “blacksploitation” action-thrillers. Jackson took over the role for the 2000 John Singleton-directed remake, which co-starred Christian Bale and Jeffrey Wright with Roundtree playing his uncle, also named John Shaft. Son of Shaft is as much a sequel to that film as it is an attempt to reboot the franchise ala Ryan Coogeler’s Creed.
The Phoenix-born Shipp has been acting since 2009 with an appearance in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, but it was her role in the NWA biopic Straight Outta Compton which caught Bryan Singer’s attention to cast her in X-Men: Apocalypse.
Shipp, who recently wrapped next year’s X-Men: Dark Phoenix, is repped by WME, LINK and Stone Genow.
Deadline initially reporting on the casting.
Edward Douglas | East Coast Editor