Deadline reports that Laurence Fishburne will be playing the role of author Alex Haley in A&E’s upcoming remake of Roots. The original eight-episode miniseries adaption, which debuted in 1977, is based off Haley’s novel, Roots: The Saga of An American Family — a narrative of American slavery and the life of the character Kunta Kinte, who’s captured in the Gambia and sold into slavery once on American soil.
The new series will be produced by original cast members Will Packer and LeVar Burton, along with Mark Wolper; it is expected to incorporate new plot lines from the novel that the original series didn’t touch on.
“My career began with Roots and I am proud to be a part of this new adaptation,” Burton said in a statement upon the original announcement of the new series. “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 series will air on A&E, Lifetime, and the History Channel in 2016.