In April it was announced that LeVar Burton and Will Packer were set to executive-produce a remake of Roots, which will air on three channels: Lifetime, A&E and History. Roots, which originally aired in 1977, was based on Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, Roots: The Saga of an American Family. The series was nominated for 37 Emmy Awards and won nine.
On Wednesday the first cast announcement was made: Tony Award-winning actor Laurence Fishburne will play writer Haley, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Fishburne, who currently stars in and serves as executive producer of ABC’s Black-ish, will also be appearing in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
Burton, who got his acting break on Roots, hopes the remake will reach a younger audience.
“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.”
No air date or other casting has been announced.