A&E Announces Laurence Fishburne Will Join Cast Of ‘Roots’ Remake

Laurence Fishburne has been cast in the role of Alex Haley for a remake of the 1977 miniseries Roots.

Roots was a highly influential miniseries based off the book Roots: The Saga of an American Family written by Alex Haley. The dramatic and deeply emotional story follows several generations of an African-American family.

Kunta Kinte was captured as a teenager and brought over to America to be sold into slavery in the 18th century. Roots follows the story of Kunta Kinte and his descendants up until it reaches Alex Haley. The work chronicles the suffering, success, and trials of the family.

The part that Laurence Fishburne will be playing is small but important.

An extremely versatile actor, there’s no wondering why the A&E Network hired Laurence Fishburne. Movies like School Daze, The Matrix, Boyz n the Hood, and Miss Evers’ Boys show a spectrum of personalities adopted by the well-known actor.

Fishburne most recently starred in Black-ish as Pops and the now-cancelled Hannibal as Jack Crawford. He is represented by Paradigm, Landmark Artists Management, and Del Shaw.

A&E issued two press releases. One on Laurence Fishburne and the other on the Roots remake.

The company explained Fishburne’s part in the film.

“Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winning actor Laurence Fishburne (Black-ish) is set to star as Alex Haley in the A+E Networks scripted event series ROOTS… Fishburne will play Haley, the author of the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family, an American family origin story based around the life of Kunta Kinte. ROOTS will be an original, contemporary production, incorporating material from Haley’s novel, as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time.”

In the release about Roots, A&E allowed some of the people involved to explain how they felt. LeVar Burton, the actor originally credited for the role of Kunta Kinte and co-executive director of the remake, was proud of his participation.

“My career began with ROOTS and I am proud to be a part of this new adaptation. There is a huge audience of contemporary young Americans who do not know the story of ROOTS or its importance. I believe now is the right time to tell this story so that we can all be reminded of its impact on our culture and identity.”

The remake of Roots featuring Laurence Fishburne is set to be completed in 2016 and will simulcast on A&E, Lifetime, and History. An exact date is not yet available.

Laurence Fishburne is also set to appear in three other upcoming movies, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, and Standoff.

[Image courtesy of Paul Morigi/Getty Images]