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'Roots' Is Reborn for a New Generation With Oscar Winners Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin


Nearly 40 years after Roots made its TV debut, the groundbreaking miniseries has been rebooted for a whole new generation of viewers.

In 1977, the eight-part miniseries about slavery was a cultural event. The finale was watched by an estimated 100 million people.

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The series also introduced us to Levar Burton, who played Kunta Kinte. Burton is one of the executive producers of the remake.

“Every day on the set, it was like reliving a chapter of my life that I just never expected to come back around again,” Burton told Inside Edition. “I don't know if I have the words to explain what it's like to play the role of Kunta then 40 years later be an executive producer on the remake.”

Based on Alex Haley's groundbreaking book, The History Channel remake corrects some factual errors.

In the original, Kunta Kinte was from a remote African village. But, he was actually from a prominent family who lived on the shore of a bustling trading post.

The new cast includes Oscar winners Forest Whitaker and Anna Paquin, as well as Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne.

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Newcomer Malachi Kirby, plays Kunta Kinte.

“Nervous is not the word,” he told Inside Edition. “I was scared. It's an enormous weight of responsibility to tell a story like this.”

Burton added: "I want people to watch with their families and I want people to feel it. Should it become a cultural event? That would be wonderful. But if it touches fewer than 100 million people I’m good with that too. So long as it touches people."

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