BRITISH ACTOR Malachi Kirby will play Kunta Kinte in Roots, which is being adapted with a modern-day spin.
The rising-star – who starred in the 2013 comedy drama Gone Too Far written by Bola Agbaje and directed by Destiny Ekaragha – was apparently picked by LeVar Burton, who portrayed Kinte in the original following an international cast search.
LeVar will executively produce the series.
The original Roots: The Saga of an American Family, adapted from Alex Haley’s 1976 novel, spanned several generations on ABC and followed African Kinte, who was captured then shipped to America where he was forced to work as a slave on a plantation.
Croydon-born Malachi, 27, previously appeared in films Offender and My Brother the Devil, as well as British TV shows Doctor Who, The Bill and Casualty.
The Nigerian actor told the Independent: “It’s a great thing to bring Roots back. I remember seeing it as a little boy and it had a profound effect on me.
“I was living in England but my parents came from Nigeria so I was learning the history of that time. Visually the remake has a much more contemporary feel around it. But it’s still faithful to the book.”
The eight-hour series will be screened on The History Channel in 2016.