A&E Networks has released a gritty first trailer and set the premiere date for the upcoming remake of Alex Haley’s “Roots,” the company announced Thursday.
“Roots” will kick off on Memorial Day 2016 and air over four consecutive nights at 9 p.m. ET, beginning May 30. It will be simulcast on A&E and Lifetime, in addition to History.
The four-night, eight-hour event series developed by History, from A+E Studios, is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family and their will to survive and ultimately carry on their legacy despite hardship.
The cast includes Academy Award winners Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin; Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winner Laurence Fishburne; Golden Globe Award-winning and Emmy Award nominated actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers; Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose; Grammy Award winner Tip “T.I.” Harris; Emayatzy Corinealdi; Matthew Goode; Mekhi Phifer; James Purefoy; and newcomers Regé-Jean Page and Malachi Kirby.
“Nearly 40 years ago I had the privilege to be a part of an epic television event that started an important conversation in America,” LeVar Burton, co-executive producer and the original Kunta Kinte, said. “I am incredibly proud to be a part of this new retelling and start the dialogue again, at a time when it is needed more than ever.”
“Roots” is an A&E Studios production in association with Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization, the company that produced the original “Roots.”
Questlove is executive music producer. “Roots” is directed by Phillip Noyce, Mario Van Peebles, Thomas Carter and Bruce Beresford. Arturo Interian and Michael Stiller serve as executives in charge of production for History. A&E Networks handles international distribution for “Roots.”