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Laurence Fishburne to play Alex Haley in 'Roots' remake

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Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Laurence Fishburne will be joining the cast of A&E’s Roots remake, the network announced Wednesday. 

The Black-ish star will play Alex Haley, the author of the novel Roots: The Saga of an American Family, which served as the basis for the original 1977 series and will be integrated into A&E’s scripted, eight-episode event series. According to the press release, Roots will include both the novel’s story, about American slavery based on the life of Kunta Kinte, along with “carefully researched new scholarship of the time.”

The series, executive produced by Mark Wolper and original Roots stars LeVar Burton and Will Packer, will air on A&E, the History Channel, and Lifetime in 2016.

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