2 Oscar winners join TV adaptation of The Book of Negroes

Two Oscar winners have joined the cast of a TV adaptation of The Book of Negroes, which is being directed by Toronto's Clement Virgo.

Toronto's Clement Virgo directing, co-writing script with author Lawrence Hill

Louis Gossett Jr., Cuba Gooding Jr. and Aunjanue Ellis are among the stars of an upcoming TV adaptation of The Book of Negroes.

The Canada-South Africa co-production will air on CBC in Canada and BET in the United States.

The acclaimed novel depicts the life of Aminata Diallo — an African woman who was kidnapped by slave traders in West Africa and sent to South Carolina.

She navigates her way through the American Revolution in New York, the isolated refuge of Nova Scotia and the jungles of Sierra Leone in a bid to secure her freedom.

Producers say other cast members for the miniseries will include Republic of Doyle star and creator Allan Hawco, Lyriq Bent, Ben Chaplin and Jane Alexander. Principal photography is underway in South Africa and continues in Nova Scotia this spring.

The book's Canadian author Lawrence Hill, of Hamilton, On., is co-writing the script along with Poor Boy's Game filmmaker Clement Virgo, who will also direct.

Published in some countries under the title Someone Knows My Name, the Hill's novel earned widespread praise. It sold nearly a million copies worldwide and also won a host of honours, including the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for best overall book and the 2009 edition of CBC's Canada Reads. The novel was also set to music by the Nathaniel Dett Chorale in 2012.