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Up-and-coming British actor Malachi Kirby has been cast as Kunta Kinte in A&E Networks’ remake of “Roots,” reports

Billed as an “event series,” the remake will follow the iconic character as he is captured from his homeland Gambia and sold into slavery in America, and his descendants struggle to survive over the next century.

Production begins next month in South Africa and New Orleans for a premiere date in 2016 on Lifetime, A&E and the History Channel.

The story was first broadcast in 1977 in a landmark adaptation of the Alex Haley novel, with LeVar Burton in the lead role. It was watched by a record-breaking 130 million viewers.

Will Packer (“Straight Outta Compton”) is among the executive producers of the remake.

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