The Wiz Live remake delivered strongly, but it remains to be seen if A+E’s upcoming Roots remake will deliver too.
With the big names already listed for casting in the reboot of the historical movie, it’s hard to say.
A+E has now added rapper T.I. to its already ‘big-names-packed’ cast.
The project previously announced major names – Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose, Chad L. Coleman, Erica Tazel, Derek Luke, and newcomers Malachi Kirby and Regé-Jean Page.
The list has now expanded with other big stars – T.I., Mekhi Phifer, James Purefoy, Matthew Goode, Lane Garrison, Emayatzy Corinealdi, and G. Hannelius, who have all signed on for the four-night, eight-hour miniseries event.
The roles of each cast member has also been reported.
T.I. will play Cyrus, a headstrong slave who fights for his freedom for the Union Army against Confederate forces; Phifer will portray Jerusalem, a mute slave working on the Murray plantation who is not quite what he appears to be; Purefoy is cast as John Waller, a wealthy Virginia plantation owner who buys Kunta Kinte as a slave; Goode is set as Waller’s educated, charming brother, Dr. William Waller; Garrison is on board as Frederick Murray, a volatile, unpredictable Confederate officer and slave owner; Corinealdi will play Kunta Kinte’s wife, Belle; and Hannelius will portray John Waller’s daughter, Missy.
The miniseries project began shooting in late September nd reportedly discovered its new faces to the big screen after a global search across 15 locations, including Zimbabwe, Nigeria and South Africa.
The Roots reboot of the 1977 original will air across multiple A+E networks, including History and Lifetime.
The upcoming films (because it’s a miniseries) are being produced in association with Marc Toberoff and the movie’s original company, The Wolper Organization.
Original Roots stars, LeVar Burton and Korin D. Huggins, are also co-exec producing.
The big-budget project is definitely backed up by some heavyweight directors as well, including Patriot Games director, Phillip Noyce, New Jack City director, Mario Van Peebles, Thomas Carter (Coach), and Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy).
Something epic should definitely be the result of such a casting, but we won’t speak too soon.