A high-profile actor has signed on for the high-profile remake of “Roots,” which is in the works at History. The New York Daily News reports that Laurence Fishburne will play the author in the new miniseries.
Fishburne, who has recently been seen as a regular on “blackish,” was nominated for an Oscar in 1994 for “What’s Love Got to Do With It.” He also has a couple of Emmys, as a producer on “Miss Evers’ Boys,” the 1997 winner for Outstanding Made for Television Movie, and as Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for “Tribeca” in 1993.
“Fishburne inherits a small but important role: The saga is based on Haley’s family memoir, the best-selling book ‘Roots: The Saga of an American Family,’ and James Earl Jones played the author in the 1977 original,” the Daily News reports, adding: “The 53-year-old Fishburne, who recently wrapped work on ‘Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice’ is one of the few actors with the gravitas and voice to match Jones.”
The original ABC miniseries “Roots” aired in 1977 and remains a TV landmark, with its final installment still ranking as the third-most-watched U.S. telecast in history, drawing about 100 million viewers. The production received 37 Emmy nominations and won nine Emmys.
The updated version is set to air in 2016 on History, A&E and Lifetime.