Roots Remake

Roots Remake Adds James Purefoy, Mekhi Phifer, Matthew Goode and More

At this rate, it might be easier to list the celebrities who aren’t involved with cable’s upcoming Roots remake.

A+E Networks on Thursday added seven new cast members to the four-night, eight-hour event, including a Good Wife favorite, a Following baddie and a former ER doc.

The project — which is an adaptation of Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, and a remake of ABC’s 1977 miniseries — centers on slave Kunta Kinte (played by EastEnders‘ Malachi Kirby), from his initial capture in The Gambia to his family’s struggles and contributions during the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.

Read on for a full breakdown of the latest cast additions:

* Grammy-winning rapper Tip “T.I.” Harris as Cyrus, a headstrong slave who fights for his freedom for the Union Army against Confederate forces

* Mekhi Phifer (ER) as Jerusalem, a mute slave who works on the Murray plantation but is not quite what he appears to be

* James Purefoy (The Following) as John Waller, the wealthy owner of a Virginia plantation who buys Kunta Kinte as a slave upon his arrival in America

* Matthew Goode (The Good Wife) as Dr. William Waller, the educated, charming brother of John Waller

* Lane Garrison (Prison Break) as Frederick Murray, a volatile, unpredictable Confederate officer and slave owner

* Emayatzy Corinealdi (Hand of God) as Belle, Kunta Kinte’s wife

* G. Hannelius (Dog With a Blog) as Missy, John Waller’s daughter.

The cast also includes Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose and Laurence Fishburne, among others.

Roots will be simulcast on History, A&E and Lifetime in 2016. Will you be watching?

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8 Comments
  1. Quinn says:

    Roots is a classic. Heavy, disturbing subject matter but still classic. PLEASE don’t mess it up or try to romanticize the horrors of slavery and racism.

  2. pati says:

    wow that’s a pretty amazing cast.

  3. Sally McLinn says:

    T.I. a slave? Now that’s rich.

  4. TinLV says:

    Why does “Roots” need a remake ? Just re-run the original. It doesn’t matter who is in the cast, it could never be better than the original mini-series. This is a waste of time and money and I bet the ratings prove it. .

  5. Joezon Darby says:

    I agree with TInLV. Alex Haley did not intend on his timeless interpretation of his ‘family’s roots’ to be recreated by idealist. .Is this an attempt to cancel showing of the original piece and desensitize the horrid of slavery and blatant and planned racism. No one will take these fresh “rich” faces seriously. I for one will not support it nor watch it. The Original CAST and EPISODES have served its purpose. RERUN not REMAKE!! Stupid Idea…

  6. prish says:

    I loved James Purefoy in ROME. I want to see him a story where he is a hero. Sigh…looks like I will have to wait. He captured the film, Vanity Fair. His presence can be an amazing asset.