Oprah Winfrey has been holding on to the rights to Rebecca Skloot’s book “The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks” for a while now. She at the very least hoped to produce the filmed adaptation. Now we learn she goes one better by signing on to star in the project and to do it for HBO not OWN. Perhaps she like what HBO FILMS: BELLE did for Queen Latifah? Here is the official press release:
OPRAH WINFREY TO STAR IN HBO FILMS’
THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS
Directed By George C. Wolfe From His Screenplay;
Based On “The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks,” By Rebecca Skloot;
Executive Produced By Oprah Winfrey, Alan Ball, Peter Macdissi,
Carla Gardini And Lydia Dean Pilcher; Rebecca Skloot Co-Executive Produces;
A Your Face Goes Here Entertainment, Harpo Films And Cine Mosaic Production
Los Angeles, May 2, 2016 – Emmy winner and Oscar nominee Oprah Winfrey (“Selma,” “The Color Purple,” “Lee Daniels’ The Butler”) will star in HBO Films’ THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS, based on Rebecca Skloot’s critically acclaimed, bestselling nonfiction book of the same name.
DGA winner, Emmy nominee and veteran Broadway director-producer George C. Wolfe (HBO’s LACKAWANNA BLUES; Tony winner for “Angels in America”) will direct from his screenplay. Winfrey, Academy Award, Emmy and Golden Globe winner Alan Ball (“American Beauty”; HBO’s TRUE BLOOD and SIX FEET UNDER; CINEMAX’s BANSHEE), Peter Macdissi (CINEMAX’s BANSHEE), Carla Gardini (“The Hundred-Foot Journey”) and Lydia Dean Pilcher (HBO’s YOU DON’T KNOW JACK) will executive produce, and Rebecca Skloot will co-executive produce the film, a Your Face Goes Here Entertainment, Harpo Films and Cine Mosaic production.
THE IMMORTAL LIFE OF HENRIETTA LACKS tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey), the film chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever. It’s a story of medical arrogance and triumph, race, poverty and deep friendship between the unlikeliest of people.
Rebecca Skloot’s “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks,” which took more than a decade to research and write, instantly hit the New York Times bestseller list upon publication, and remained there for more than four years. Henrietta Lacks’ sons David Lacks, Jr. and Zakariyya Rahman and granddaughter Jeri Lacks are consultants.
Filming will begin this summer.
Expectations are of course marked high for such a project on HBO and clearly seems to be right up Oprah Winfrey’s alley. More news as we get it.