Several weeks after announcing plans to reboot iconic miniseries Roots, A+E Networks has found the first actor for the new take on the property, which will air simultaneous on A&E, History and Lifetime in 2016.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Hannibal star Laurence Fishburne has boarded the event series as a regular and will play Alex Haley, the author of the novel that the 1970s miniseries and this new reboot is based on.
Based on Alex Haley’s Roots: The Saga of an American Family, Roots originally aired on ABC in 1977 and starred Levar Burton as Kunta Kinte, who is abducted from Gambia and sold into slavery in the United States. The 1970s series followed the story of Kinte and those who followed him as they continued 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 new mini-series will again be based on the novel and tell the story of Kunta Kinte but will include more material from Haley’s novel as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time. A&E, History and Lifetime’s sister studio A+E Studios is set to produce alongside The Wolper Organization – the company that produced the original. Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald and Charles Murray are penning the scripts. Mark Wolper and Will Packer serve as executive producers. A+E Studios International will handle global distribution.