A&E casts new Kunta Kinte in Roots remake 

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When a Roots remake was announced earlier in the year, many wondered who would play the iconic role of Kunta Kinte — now Deadline has finally put speculation to rest.

According to the film site, it’s been confirmed that British actor Malachi Kirby has been cast as Kunta Kinte in A&E Networks’ adaptation.

The updated TV mini-series will follow the lives of Kunta Kinte and his descendants after he is captured from his homeland Gambia and sold into slavery in America. LeVar Burton, who famously played the lead role in the 1977 broadcast, is now producing the Alex Haley remake with Will Packer.

“My career began with Roots, and I am proud to be a part of this new adaptation,” said Burton. “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.”

Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal, Alison McDonald and Charles Murray have written the new adaptation.

Roots starts shooting next month in South Africa and New Orleans and will air in 2016 on Lifetime, A+E and the History Channel.