‘Roots’ Remake Miniseries Lined Up at History Channel
An ever sensitive topic though it remains, slavery films in Hollywood have no doubt risen the last few years in public profile, from '12 Years a Slave' to 'Django Unchained,' and now the trend has reached TV. History will reboot the iconic 'Roots' miniseries as an all-new drama, but who from the original production will have any involvement?
Deadline broke news of History's latest epic, which follows historical(-ish) offerings like 'The Bible,' 'Hatfields & McCoys' and 'Vikings' in another step away from the network's documentary origins. Unlike the original 12-hour 1977 production of 'Roots,' whose finale drew a staggering 100 million viewers as the series at large drew a record-breaking 37 Emmy nominations, History's rendition will unfold as an 8-episode miniseries.
Additionally, Mark Wolper, son of the original mastermind David L. Wolper, will take on executive producing duties for the new incarnation of 'Roots,' while History begins negotiations with writers for the project. The original 'Roots' author Alex Haley's 'Roots: The Saga Of An American Family' told a story of slavery that began with Kunta Kinte (a pre-'Star Trek' LeVar Burton) in Africa, and travels through history to America for multiple generations to come.
The new 'Roots' will draw both from the original book and iconic miniseries "from a contemporary perspective," says Deadline. History's EVP and General Manager Dirk Hoogstra adds, “We would like to revive that cultural icon for a new audience."
What say you? Would you be interested to see 'Roots' retold for a modern audience, or does the 1977 version stand the test of time? Who do you think might fit the bill to star in a new generation of 'Roots'?