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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., may be a cybersecurity 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 agrees to help his son navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly.

The film stars Samuel L. Jackson, Jessie T. Usher, Regina Hall, Alexandra Shipp and Richard Roundtree. It’s directed by Tim Story, with a script written by Kenya Barris.

Back in the 70’s when the film franchise was first introduced, the role of women could best be defined as an accessory than equal. While the 2019 version still gives you John Shaft ladies man, the women featured aren’t just there for their gorgeous looks.

Regina Hall portrays Maya, the mother of John Shaft II’s (Jackson) estranged son JJ (Usher.) Maya chose to end her relationship with the elder Shaft because his career wasn’t productive to a safe and healthy family unit. While Alexandra Shipp takes on the role of Sasha. JJ’s childhood friend who has always been there to support JJ, while keeping him grounded.

EURweb’s Jill Munroe took a trip to Harlem to speak with Hall and Ship about the powerful roles women play in this version of Shaft, plus have a conversation that was sparked by one of my favorite lines in the film,  the traits of “a simple b**ch.”

Jill also took a stroll through Harlem with director Tim Story, where the topics were his vision in taking over the iconic franchise, and why it was important to him that the female characters in the film were just as strong as the three generations of Shaft men.

“When you think of Shaft, it’s always that definition of manhood and what is manhood. But we can’t forget womenhood. I just knew when it came to Regina, when it came to Alexandra Shipp, if they were going to be in a “Shaft” movie, they needed to be just as badass as Shaft.”

Shaft hits theaters on Friday, June 14.

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