Forest Whitaker, Anika Noni Rose, Derek Luke join 'Roots' remake

A+E Networks has added Forest Whitaker, Anika Noni Rose and Derek Luke to the star-studded cast of the 'Roots' remake...

The star-studded cast of the Roots remake just keeps growing.

Forrest Whitaker is joining the cast and will be playing Fiddler, whose mentor relationship with Kunta Kinte will put his life at risk when he helps her try to escape.

Anna Paquin has also been cast as Nancy Holt, “the wife of a Confederate officer who has her own agenda when it comes to the handling of slaves,” according to a description given by A&E.

Derek Luke will be playing Silla Ba Dibba, “the military trainer of Juffure, charged with transforming teen boys into powerful Mandinka Warriors.”

Anika Noni Rose is also joining the cast as Kizzy, “the cherished, smart daughter of Kunta Kinte who maintains her family pride and warrior spirit.” Additionally, Jonathan Rhys Meyers will play Tom Lea, “an uneducated slave owner desperate to claw his way into the elite company of Southern gentility,” and Chad L. Coleman will be Mingo, “a stern no-nonsense slave who keeps the Lea plantation afloat.” Erica Tazel will also appear as Matilda, “a preacher’s daughter and love interest to ‘Chicken George.’”

The eight-hour A+ E miniseries is being described as an “original, contemporary production, incorporating material from Haley’s novel, as well as carefully researched new scholarship of the time.”