Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne has signed on to star in A+E Networks’ Roots set to air on History, A&E, and Lifetime. The event series is based on Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, with Fishburne now attached to play Haley. Haley’s novel was originally brought to life via a ground-breaking award-winning miniseries that aired back in 1977.
According to A+E Networks, this version of Roots will be an “original, contemporary production, incorporating material from Haley’s novel, as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time.”
Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing the script. Original Roots star LeVar Burton is on board as a co-executive producer with Will Packer, Marc Toberoff, Marc Wolper, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal executive producing.
Roots is 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. Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins 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 story of Kunta Kinte and the women and men who came after him echoes through the history of millions of Americans of African descent, and reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit.
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