Today in show business news: History is remaking Roots, Ben Affleck is giving us a big Christmas present, and Lifetime plans another big event movie.
The History Channel, excuse me just History, announced today that it is producing a remake of the groundbreaking 1977 miniseries Roots, an epic eight-hour look at American slavery. Some cynical people might say that slavery narratives are "trending" these days, what with last year's Django Unchained and this year's stirring awards favorite 12 Years a Slave, but let's not apply that terminology to something as sadly bedrock to American history as slavery, shall we? Let's just say that it's interesting that History has decided to remake such a seminal work of television and hope that they don't muck it up. The Bible is one thing, but this is a little closer to the home. [The Hollywood Reporter]
Meanwhile over at Lifetime, plans are afoot (or a-Foote) to turn Horton Foote's play The Trip to Bountiful into a TV movie. They'll be using some of the much-lauded cast from the recent, much-lauded Broadway production of the show, which starred Cicely Tyson and Vanessa Williams. Joining them will be Keke Palmer, replacing Condola Rashad, and Blair Underwood, replacing Cuba Gooding Jr. The play, about an elderly Southern woman traveling to the town where she grew up in the era of Jim Crow, was made into a feature film in the 1980s, winning an Oscar for lead actress Geraldine Page. This marks the second time in recent memory that Lifetime has adapted a stage play (that was also a film at one point) with an all-black cast, following last year's Steel Magnolias. [Deadline]