British Actor Malachi Kirby Cast As Kunta Kinte In ‘Roots’ RemakePosted by Wilson Morales
August 26, 2015
British actor Malachi Kirby has been cast as Kunta Kinte in A+E Networks’ remake of Alex Haley’s seminal Roots, reports Deadline.
Kirby joins Academy Award nominee and Emmy Award winning actor Laurence Fishburne, who is set to star as Alex Haley.
Kunta Kinte was famously portrayed by LeVar Burton in the 1977 award-winning ABC television miniseries.
Roots starts shooting next month in South Africa and New Orleans and will air the four-night, eight-hour scripted event series in 2016 on Lifetime, A+E and the History Channel.
ROOTS is 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 The 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. The story of Kunta Kinte and the women and men who came after him echoes through the history of millions of Americans of African descent, and reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit.
According to his IMDB page, Kirby is best known for Gone Too Far (2013), My Brother the Devil (2012) and My Murder (2012). He was selected for Screen International Stars of Tomorrow 2013 and nominated for Most Promising Newcomer in the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. In 2014, he played Wayne Ladlow in the BBC’s soap opera, EastEnders.
Multi-award winning Phillip Noyce (Patriot Games, Clear and Present Danger, Salt) and Emmy® Award winner Thomas Carter (Coach Carter, Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story) are set to helm nights one and three respectively. Additionally, Questlove, from the Grammy Award winning band The Roots, is set as the executive music producer. For ROOTS, he will create the authentic African sound and themes for the characters as well as produce the overall sound as the music progresses each night.
ROOTS is an A+E Studios production in association with Marc Toberoff and The Wolper Organization, the company that produced the original ROOTS. Will Packer, Marc Toberoff, Mark Wolper, Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal serve as executive producers. LeVar Burton and Korin Huggins are co-executive producers. Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald, and Charles Murray are writing. Dirk Hoogstra, Arturo Interian and Michael Stiller serve as Executives in Charge of Production for HISTORY. ROOTS is distributed internationally by A+E Networks under the A+E Studios International banner.