British actor Malachi Kirby has been cast as Kunta Kinte in that upcoming remake of Roots, according to Deadline. He’ll step into the iconic role previously held by LeVar Burton in the 1977 original miniseries. Assuming the remake mirrors the original, Kirby will star in the initial episodes before the series moves on to follow Kinte’s descendants. As we previously reported, the remake will air simultaneously on History, A&E, and Lifetime and will “incorporate new information about the historical period uncovered since the original book and mini were released.”
Kirby has some smaller British credits to his name, including a stint on EastEnders, but Roots will be his first high-profile role. He’ll now face the pressure not only of playing Kunta Kinte, but also of finding an iconic sci-fi character to portray next.