The series, which will air simultaneously on History and Lifetime, will be based around the life of Kunta Kinte, a fictional character in the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family. LeVar Burton, who portrayed Kinte in the 1977 original, will co-executive produce. Will Packer will executive produce along with Mark Wolper and Marc Toberoff.
Fishburne will portray author Alex Haley, who wrote the Roots novel, a role originated by James Earl Jones in the 1977 series. The new series will be a unique, contemporary drama that will integrate materiel from Haley’s work, all while incorporating new research regarding the time period.
A Tony winner, Emmy nominee, and Oscar nominee, Fishburne currently stars on the ABC comedy Black-ish, which he also executive produces. The seasoned veteran can also be seen as a regular on Bryan Fuller’s Red Dragon re-imagining, Hannibal, which just premiered its third season. He recently starred in another Packer production, the feature Ride Along, and will next appear in Warner Bros.’ superhero sequel Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice as Perry White.
Clark Allen | Associate Editor