Laurence Fishburne is the first cast member to be announced for the Roots remake and will take on the role of the book’s author Alex Haley.
Fishburne will be taking over the role of the book on which the movie is based’s author Alex Haley, a role previously portrayed by James Earl Jones. In case you’re unfamiliar with Roots (in which case, you should familiarize yourself with it ASAP, regardless of your race), the story is author Alex Haley’s American family origin story based around the life of Kunta Kinte, his African ancestor.
Lifetime, A&E and History greenlit the event series to be simulcast on Lifetime, A&E and History channels. Will Packer (Think Like A Man, The Wedding Ringer) joins the production as as executive producer and original Roots cast member and Emmy-award winning LeVar Burton boards as co-executive producer. Mark Wolper will also serve as executive producer.
According to a statement at the time the news was announced, “the networks also are already working closely with many prominent historians in the fields of African and African-American history, as well as diverse leaders from across the country, to use this powerful story to stimulate discussion and awareness about this important origin story that informs our American culture today.”
Let us know what you think of Laurence’s casting, and any other casting ideas you may have, in the comments below.