David Walker, writer of DC's Cyborg, the recent Shaft comic book and the recent Shaft sequel novel argues against the making of a comedy remake of Shaft given the news that the creator of Black-ish, Kenya Barris has been hired by Warner Bros' New Line to co-write the script.
In an open letter, he uses reasons of finance.
While comedies do well, the sort of comedy you're likely to make does not have a good track record. Low Down Dirty Shame (1994) made $24 million, Undercover Brother (2002) made $39 million, and Bait (2000) made $15 million.
Of the current political and social climate,
Not since Ernest Tidyman created John Shaft back in 1970 has there been more of a need for someone just like him. And yet your solution is to take the most iconic hero in the history of black popular culture—something that is missing from the cinematic landscape right now—and turn him into some kind of comedic figure.
Black Dynamite, despite its cult status, and the animated show that I love—which again, has already done what you want to do—earned less than a million dollars at the box office.
A personal appeal.
it will ruin the chances of there ever being a decent Shaft movie in the remainder of my lifetime
Even more finance.
By comparison, The Equalizer earned over $190 million globally, and it was a serious action film, with a black man in the lead role (which is what Shaft needs to be).
Because as David Walker knows, it's rarely about the black, and mostly about the green.