Laurence Fishburne will star in A&E’s remake of the 1976 miniseries Roots in the role of author Alex Haley, who penned the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The movie will be filmed using material from Haley’s signature work and will undoubtedly focus on the life and times of central character Kunta Kinte.
Fishburne’s casting was announced Wednesday (July 1) according to a report from Variety. The History Channel’s executive vice president and general manager Dirk Hoogstra delivered the news. Not much else is known about the upcoming remake other than it will differ from the original series and will add details not present in Haley’s previous work.
More from Variety:
Haley is the author of the novel “Roots: The Saga of an American Family,” an American family origin story based around the life of Kunta Kinte. The “Roots” remake will be an original, contemporary production, incorporating material from Haley’s novel, as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time. Haley died in 1992.
“Roots” is described as a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family’s will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity. The narrative spans multiple generations, beginning with young Kunta Kinte, who is captured in his homeland in the Gambia and transported in brutal conditions to colonial America, where he’s sold into slavery. Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in U.S. history — including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation.
The exact date that Roots will air online has yet to be announced. The event series will air on A&E, History and Lifetime in 2016.
Photo: Brian To/WENN