article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)
According to Variety.com, Oprah Winfrey will star in the adaptation of “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” for HBOFilms. Winfrey’s Harpo Films optioned Rebecca Skloot‘s 2010 best-seller years ago, and it with her commitment to star as well as executive produce, it will finally be produced this summer. Skloot will serve as a co-executive producer. George C. Wolfe, who adapted the memoir, will also direct.
“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells (HeLa cells) were used to create the first immortal human cell line, which helped scientists make unprecedented medical breakthroughs, including Jonas Salk’s development of the polio vaccine.
Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks, played by 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 changed countless lives and the face of medicine forever.
Henrietta Lacks’ sons Zakariyya Rahman and David Lacks, Jr. and granddaughter Jeri Lacksare will serve as consultants on the HBO project.