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Watch the Trailer for the New “Roots” Adaptation

The History Channel has released the first trailer for its adaptation of Alex Haley’s 1976 novel Roots. The eight-hour miniseries is slated to premiere on May 30, and will be rolled out over the course of four nights throughout Memorial Day weekend. The ensemble cast includes Forest Whitaker, Lawrence Fishburne, and Johnathan Rhys Meyers, along with countless others supporting a powerful performance by young actor Malachi Kirby.

Roots is the chronicle of Kunta Kinte, a young man in Gambia who is sold into slavery, and follows Kinte’s lineage for generations forward. The trailer is, as you might expect, scenically detailed, tensely dramatic, and beautifully shot.

Many people believe that the original Roots adaptation, made in 1977, perfectly captured the spirit of Haley’s historically potent novel, and were skeptical that the remake would be redundant. As one writer noted when the series was announced, “generally, remakes degrade the original – and here the stakes are pretty high. Aren’t there other stories from that era to tell?” What do you think? Does this new trailer put you on one side or the other of that debate? Let us know in the comments!

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