Tag: Alison McDonald

Laurence Fishburne to Star as Alex Haley in “Roots” Remake for A&E Networks

Laurence Fishburne The Signial
Laurence Fishburne at NAACP Awards (photo via Variety.com)

Laurence Fishburne has been cast as Alex Haley in A+E Networks’ “Roots” remake, the History Channel 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.

“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 big screen, 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. Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte who is captured in his homeland in 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.

Will Packer, Marc 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.

article by Laura Prudom via Variety.com

LeVar Burton, Will Packer Produce “Roots” Remake to Air on History, A&E and Lifetime Next Year

rootscover“Roots” is returning to TV next year as a big-ticket event series production to air across History, A&E Network and Lifetime next year.

Producer Will Packer and LeVar Burton, an original “Roots” cast member, are shepherding the project with Mark Wolper, son of the original producer of the 1977 ABC miniseries, David L. Wolper.

Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald and Charles Murray are on board to write the new rendition of the saga of Kunta Kinte, which follows his capture in Africa as a young man through his enslavement in colonial America. “Roots” is based on Alex Haley’s landmark novel of the same name.

Actor/Producer LeVar Burton
Actor/Producer LeVar Burton

“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 eight-part miniseries was a sleeper megahit for ABC that aired over consecutive nights in January 1977. There’s no word yet on how many hours the new “Roots” will run.

A&E Networks execs said producers will work closely with historians and other experts to incorporate new information about the historical period uncovered since the original book and mini were released.

“Kunta Kinte began telling his story over 200 years ago and that story went through his family lineage, to Alex Haley, to my father, and now the mantle rests with me,” said Wolper. “Like Kunta Kinte fought to tell his story over and over again, so must we.”

Said Packer: “The opportunity to present one of America’s most powerful stories to a generation that hasn’t seen it is tremendously exciting. Contemporary society needs this story and I’m proud to be a part of it.”

article by Cynthia Littleton via Variety.com