The news hasn't gone down very well with loyal fans of the Legendary 70's action hero. Especially with comic book writer David f. walker whose according to media reports has penned a open letter to film company new line cinema of his disappointment in them taking the film project in this direction. walker has all reason in voicing his dissatisfaction, he's the creator of the 'shaft' comic books based on the iconic character, the comic books are a continuing series published by Dynamite comics.
So why change the seriousness of such a popular 70's cult figure ? walker has all reasons to claim authority on shaft after writing the first 'shaft' novel entitled 'shaft's revenge ' published and also recognized by shaft's creator the late Ernest tidyman's Estate. Tidyman's first shaft novel was published in (1971) with other six novels followed after, during the 70's era making a full collection of shaft novels.
However in (1971) metro-Goldwyn- Mayer (MGM) studios produced the motion picture version entitled 'SHAFT' Ernest Tidyman co-wrote the screenplay with john d. black for the film. the character john shaft was portrayed by actor Richard Round tree. the film was directed by Gordon parks. The film was an instant success especially the films soundtrack album recorded by singer/actor Isaac Hayes, winning a Grammy award for best film score album for a motion picture.
The success spawned two sequel films 'SHAFT BIG SCORE' (1972) and 'SHAFT IN AFRICA' (1973) which after that ended as a Trilogy. eventually metro- Goldwyn- Mayer sold the SHAFT franchise to television resulting in a short lived series which also had Richard round tree. Reprise his shaft character. The SHAFT character returned in the year 2000 in a reboot film starring Samuel l. jackson as a nephew of shaft, the film was directed by John singleton.
At this stage in the history of shaft's popular films, do you believe it's wise to make a reboot film version of shaft as a comedy ?