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Forest Whitaker, Jonathan Rhys Meyers join the cast of the miniseries 'Roots'

By
Karen Butler
Forest Whitaker attends the Los Angeles premiere of 'Dope' on June 8, 2015. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI
Forest Whitaker attends the Los Angeles premiere of 'Dope' on June 8, 2015. Photo by Christine Chew/UPI | License Photo

NEW YORK, Sept. 17 (UPI) -- Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin, Chad L. Coleman and Jonathan Rhys Meyers have joined the cast of A+E Networks' four-night, eight-hour miniseries Roots.

Co-starring Malachi Kirby, Regé-Jean Page, Laurence Fishburne, Anika Noni Rose and Derek Luke, the program is now in production in New Orleans. Additional scenes will be shot later this month in South Africa.

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Mario Van Peebles and Bruce Beresford are set to direct episodes two and four respectively. They join the previously announced Phillip Noyce and Thomas Carter, who are helming nights one and three.

Grammy Award-winner Questlove is also on-board as the executive music producer for the program.

"Roots is a historical portrait of American slavery recounting the journey of one family's will to survive, endure and ultimately carry on their legacy despite enormous hardship and inhumanity," a synopsis said. "Spanning multiple generations, the lineage begins with young Kunta Kinte, who is captured in his homeland of The Gambia and transported in brutal conditions to colonial America, where he's sold into slavery. Throughout the series, the family continues to face adversity while bearing witness and contributing to notable events in U.S. history, including the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, slave uprisings and eventual emancipation.The story of Kunta Kinte and the women and men who came after him echoes through the history of millions of Americans of African descent, and reveals powerful truths about the universal resilience of the human spirit."

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