The Roots reboot has already cultivated an A-List roster with Forest Whitaker, Anna Paquin andLaurence Fishburne signing on, but they're keeping the star power going by adding Mekhi Phifer, T.I.and Matthew Goode to the project, A&E announced Thursday.
Phifer will pay Jerusalem, a mute slave who is more than what he appears to be. Tip "T.I." Harris has landed the role of a headstrong slave named Cyrus who fights for the Union Forces.
James Purefoy was also added to the cast as Virginian slave owner John Waller, who buys the slave protagonist Kunta Kinte (Malachi Kirby). Goode will play Waller's more educated brother, Dr. William Waller. Lane Garrison will appear as "volatile, unpredictable Confederate officer and slave owner" Frederick Murray.
The miniseries is an original take on Alex Haley's novel Roots: The Saga of an American Familycombined with new research. ABC first aired a Roots miniseries in 1977 starring LeVar Burton andJames Earl Jones. It will premiere in 2016, simulcast on A&E, HISTORY and Lifetime channels.