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Laurence Fishburne to Star in ‘Roots’ Remake for A&E Networks

Laurence Fishburne has been cast as Alex Haley in A+E Networks’ “Roots” remake, Dirk Hoogstra, History channel’s exec VP & general manager, announced Wednesday.

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” will be simulcast on A&E, History and Lifetime in 2016.

The Emmy-winning actor currently appears on NBC’s drama “Hannibal” and ABC’s half-hour comedy “Black-ish,” on which he also serves as executive producer. On the bigscreen, Fishburne will next be seen in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.”

“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 scripted event series is an A+E Studios production in association with Marc Toberoff and the Wolper Organization, the company that produced the original miniseries. Will Packer, Toberoff, Marc Wolper, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton and Korin Huggins are co-executive producers. Konner, Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing. Hoogstra, Arturo Interian and Michael Stiller serve as executives in charge of production for History. “Roots” is distributed internationally by A+E Networks under the A+E Studios International banner.

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