Much or that intensity is coming from Malachi Kirby, a 26-year-old British actor who isn't all that well-known in the U.S. yet, but is getting most of the screen time in the trailer as the original miniseries' most memorable character, the African slave Kunta Kinte.
That role was made famous by Levar Burton, who got an Emmy nomination for his portrayal in '77. Burton also served as executive producer on the remake, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Kirby's Kunta Kinte is seen aboard a ship during the middle passage before he's beaten on his arrival in Colonial America, then comes face-to-face with a slave master who tells him, "I own this property boy, and everything on it."
Much of the rest of the remake's star-studded cast is on display in this first trailer, too. Some of the faces you might recognize include Forest Whitaker, Laurence Fishburne, T.I., Anna Paquin, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Anika Noni Rose, Matthew Goode, Mekhi Phifer, and James Purefoy.
The four-part, eight-hour miniseries is set to make its debut on History Channel on May 30 for the Memorial Day holiday.