I have exciting news from Tinsel Town. Paramount has announced plans to reboot “Roots,” the critically acclaimed and culturally significant story tracing the descendants of an African slave. Even better, it appears that beloved actor Tom Hanks will be playing the role of Kunta Kinte.
Hanks seems ecstatic about the opportunity. “This is such a wonderful project. I am so glad to have the chance to be a part of a tasteful retelling of a classic American story. I think the messages this film convey may stand as some of the most important of my career.”
The initial cast list features other prominent A-listers like George Clooney and Matt Damon as Kunta’s descendants.
Refreshingly, activists seem relatively pleased with the casting decisions. As one wrote on his Tumblr, “At this point, we are just glad to know that some people of color were included. Sure, we’d love to see Samuel L. Jackson and Morgan Freeman in roles other than slave overseers, but it’s good to know they still have work. And casting Oprah as a wealthy plantation owner really does round out the film’s diversity.”
That being said, the movie is not without some controversy. Adam Sandler has been tentatively cast in a major role as well, and some potential viewers are already up in arms. One heated Facebook post reads as follows:
“How could they possibly include a goofball like him in a serious exploration of what it means to be black in America? Frankly, I find his inclusion in the cast offensive. It indicates to me that the individuals behind this film simply do not respect its cultural importance. I can only hope that Tom Hanks and Morgan Freeman bring enough gravity to their roles to offset any damage Sandler does.”
I for one am very excited to see this film, but I do hope they don’t take it too seriously. Lord knows the historical plight of black Americans has little relevance in today’s world.