Smith will play an old friend of John Shaft’s (Jackson) from the neighborhood.
Tim Story is helming the pic from a script by Kenya Barris and Alex Barnow. John Davis and Barris are producing, while Marc Fischer and Ira Napoliello are executive producing.
The new film is slated for release on June 14, 2019.
The first Shaft movie hit theaters in 1971 and starred Richard Roundtree as the private detective who is hired to rescue a Harlem mobster’s kidnapped daughter. The film was a box-office hit for MGM, earning $13 million, and the theme won the Oscar for best original song. The film was added to the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress in 2000.
There were two follow-ups, Shaft’s Big Score (1972) and Shaft in Africa (1973), along with the 2000 sequel, also called Shaft, which starred Jackson as the nephew of the original John Shaft.
Smith, who is also known for his music career along with his acting work, was recently seen in David Simon and George Pelicano’s HBO series The Deuce and hosts the TBS comic rap battle competition series Drop the Mic. He is repped by CAA, manager Shauna Garr and attorney Amy Nickin of Frankfurt Kurnit.