Published: 00:40 EDT, 11 June 2019 | Updated: 04:58 EDT, 11 June 2019
Past, present and future converged Monday as Shaft star Samuel L. Jackson posed with Richard Roundtree, his predecessor in the iconic film series, and rising star Jessie T. Usher at the New York City premiere of the new film in AMC Lincoln Square Theater Monday.
In the forthcoming motion picture, Roundtree, 76, plays John Shaft I, Jackson, 70, plays John Shaft II, and Usher, 27, plays John Shaft Jr.
The 70-year-old Academy Award nominee at the premiere wore a navy blue Kangol cap with a black suede jacket over a black top with black pants and dark brown shoes.
Shaft star Samuel L. Jackson, 70, posed with Richard Roundtree (R), 76, his predecessor as the iconic film series, and rising star Jessie T. Usher (L), 27, at the NYC premiere Monday
Roundtree donned a blue suit over a light blue button-down top with yellow tie, wide brim black hat and brown shoes.
Usher, who's also been seen in Survivor's Remorse and Independence Day: Resurgence, donned a magenta snakeskin print suit with a black button-down top and black shoes.
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Jackson, speaking with the Daily News on Monday, opened up about his approach in playing the famed private eye character.
'He's kind of iconic in our community and in our mythology,' Jackson said of the character, which is hailed as the forerunner of the Blaxploitation film genre. 'He's one of our heroes, and we don't want to make him be a buffoon or a fool in any way.'
Keepers of the flame: In the forthcoming motion picture, Roundtree, 76, plays John Shaft I, Jackson, 70, plays John Shaft II, and Usher, 27, plays John Shaft Jr.
Ready to roll: The actors posed around the leading man at the debut of the movie
He said that Shaft films require an element of 'real danger to respect what Richard created or the Harlem that we know as kind of sexy, dark, dangerous and cool.'
He hailed Roundtree's efforts in playing the role in three movies and a TV show.
'To have a guy like that who was unapologetically black, brave, cool and irreverent was a revelation,' said the actor, who was 22 when Shaft initially hit theaters in of July in 1971. 'Like, OK, we're making different kinds of movies now.'
He continued, 'By the time the Blaxploitation era hit, people tried to disparage it in an interesting sort of way, but we wanted it. We needed it. I've been going to movies all my life, so it was important that I see people who were heroes, who were sticking it to the Man, which is what basically those movies were.
Revival: The Pulp Fiction star previously played the role of John Shaft in the 2000 film Shaft
Reverent: Jackson said of Roundtree, 'To have a guy like that who was unapologetically black, brave, cool and irreverent was a revelation'
Nice ride: The veteran screen star posed in front of one of the vintage automobiles in the series
'It was another way of going to the movies and seeing yourself win, or seeing a hero that looks like you or the hero that you can aspire to be.'
The Pulp Fiction star previously played the role of John Shaft in the 2000 film Shaft in a cast that included Roundtree as Uncle John Shaft, Vanessa Williams, Christian Bale and Jeffrey Wright.
Also at the premiere were co-stars Regina Hall and Alexandra Shipp, as well as celebs including Tina Knowles-Lawson, Spike Lee and Cedric the Entertainer.
Shaft hits theaters June 14.