The History Channel just shared the first trailer for their upcoming Roots miniseries remake. Like the original 1977 TV mega-event and the book on which it’s based, it depicts Kunta Kinte’s forced journey from Gambia to America via the slave trade, and his and his family’s experiences in and out of slavery.
The 2:42 minute trailer offers a glimpse at the sprawling, impressive cast, including: Malachi Kirby (taking over in the role LeVar Burton, who executive produced the new miniseries, made famous); Anika Noni Rose (playing Kinte’s daughter, Kizzy); Regé-Jean Page (as Chicken George, the first of Kinte’s descendants to be granted freedom); Forest Whitaker (as Fiddler, a fellow slave and friend of Kinte’s); Laurence Fishburne (as Alex Haley, the real-life author of Roots: The Saga of an American Family and descendant of the central family); Anna Paquin (as the wife of a confederate officer); T.I. (as a slave who fights in the Union Army); Jonathan Rhys Meyers (as a slaveowner); Emayatzy Corinealdi (as Kinte’s Wife), and Matthew Goode, among many others.
“Nearly 40 years ago I had the privilege to be a part of an epic television event that started an important conversation in America,” said LeVar Burton in a statement. “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.”
The miniseries — which is broken into four 2-hour sections to air on consecutive evenings — will be simulcast both on A&E and Lifetime. It’ll air on Memorial Day — May 30, 2016. As Variety notes, the first miniseries drew 100 million viewers for its final episode — a near-unheard of number for a drama series.