A&E’s Roots Remake Casts British Actor Malachi Kirby as Kunta Kinte

Malachi Kirby
Tim Whitby/Getty Images for BFI

Earlier this year, when the Roots remake was announced, people wondered who would play the iconic role of Kunta Kinte in the Will Packer and LeVar Burton production. The role, made famous by Burton, will now be played by up-and-coming British actor Malachi Kirby, according to Deadline.

In April, Burton spoke about his role in the remake as producer, and how the role of Kunta Kinte changed his life.

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“My career began with Roots, and I am proud to be a part of this new adaptation,” said Burton. “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 original broadcast of Roots aired in 1977, with a record-breaking number of 130 million viewers. Production of the new series starts next month, with shooting in South Africa and New Orleans.

Roots will air in 2016 on Lifetime, A&E and the History Channel.

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