WATCH: Anna Paquin in the Trailer for ‘Roots’

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The History Channel is giving us our first look at their remake of the epic 1970s mini-series Roots, based on Alex Haley’s novel of the same name along with additional scholarship about the era the project encompasses.

Roots follows Kunta Kinte (played by newcomer Malachi Kirby who looks set to breakout in the role much like LeVar Burton did in the original) from his birth and youth in Africa through his enslavement, transport to America, and life as a slave on a plantation. True Blood’s Anna Paquin brushes off her Southern accent to play Nancy Holt, the wife of a plantation owner who appears to have an unpopular view of slavery.

The eight-hour event series premieres on History, Lifetime and A&E on Memorial Day, May 30, at 9/8c. It will then continue for the next three nights, with the finale airing June 2.

The cast of the Roots remake includes Oscar winners Forest Whitaker (as Fiddler) and Anna Paquin (as Nancy Holt); Emmy winner Laurence Fishburne (playing Alex Haley); Emmy-nominated Jonathan Rhys Meyers (as Tom Lea); Tony winner Anika Noni Rose (as Kizzy); Grammy winner Tip “T.I.” Harris (as Cyrus); Hand of God‘s Emayatzy Corinealdi (as Belle); Downton Abbey‘s Matthew Goode (as Dr. William Waller); House of Lies‘ Mekhi Phifer (as Jerusalem); and The Following‘s James Purefoy (as John Waller). It will also feature newcomers Regé-Jean Page (as Chicken George) and Malachi Kirby (as Kunta Kinte).

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