Nearly 40 years after the debut of one of TV’s biggest events, the History Channel is revisiting Roots with a rebooted mini-series about literature’s most famous semi-fictional slave, Kunta Kinte. This time around, British actor Malachi Kirby will star as Kinte, originally played by LeVar Burton, who is now an executive producer on the remake. Kirby joins a ridiculously stacked cast, which includes Forest Whitaker (Fiddler), Anika Noni Rose (Kinte’s daughter Kizzy), Regé-Jean Page (Chicken George, Kizzy’s son), Jonathan Rhys-Meyers (the rapist slave-owner Tom Lea), Anna Paquin (Nancy Holt), Matthew Goode (Dr. William Waller), T.I. (Cyrus), Mekhi Phifer (Jerusalem), and Laurence Fishburne, playing Alex Haley, the author of the novel the original mini-series was adapted from.
Like the original, the remake will be a doozy: Roots is set to air over four consecutive nights, with each episode clocking in at two hours and simulcast on History, Lifetime, and A&E. It all begins on May 30 (Memorial Day), just under the wire to be eligible for this year’s Emmys, where it can (re)make history.