Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Egypt & Morocco Ban Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' for Historical Inaccuracies Egypt & Morocco Ban Ridley Scott's 'Exodus: Gods and Kings' for Historical Inaccuracies Denzel Washington Is One of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars, According to Forbes Denzel Washington Is One of Hollywood's Most Overpaid Stars, According to Forbes Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Bill Duke's 'Dark Girls' Follow-up, 'Light Girls,' Gets a First Trailer & Release date (Heading to OWN) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Watch Trailer for Romcom 'With This Ring' (Regina Hall, Jill Scott, Eve Star - Coming January 2015) Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Here Are the Top 10 Grossing "Black Films" of 2014... How Many of Them Did You See? Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Debbie Allen & Phylicia Rashad Sign Up for 'Arsenic and Old Lace' Playing the Brewster Sisters Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Weekend B.O. Dec. 19-21 (Sony's Grateful for Small Blessings, while Paramount Blew it) Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Ava DuVernay Has Multi-Episode TV Series on "Black Experience in America" in the Works Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Sony Hack Reveals the Insufferable Whiteness of Hollywood Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' Preview: Jessica Williams of 'The Daily Show' Makes Leading Lady Debut in 'Tap Shoes & Violins' '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! '106 & PARK' Says Goodbye Today, Dec 19 at 6pm, w/ Live, 2-hour, Star-Studded Finale! First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic First Image of Queen Latifah as Bessie Smith in Upcoming HBO Biopic The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal The Gift That Keeps on Giving - Leaked Sony Email Challenges Denzel Washington's Overseas Box Office Appeal Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Woody Allen Says He Won’t Hire a Black Actor Unless the Role Calls for One... Whatever That Means Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Co-Screenwriter of 'Noah' Explains Why There Are No Black People Or POC In The Film Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) 7 More Slave-Themed Films For You To Look Forward To This Year, 2013 7 More Slave-Themed Films For You To Look Forward To This Year, 2013 Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie...

Movement On HBO's 'Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' Film Adaptation. 'True Blood' Exec Producer Will Pen Script

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act February 11, 2014 at 1:04PM

Movement On HBO's 'Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' Film Adaptation. 'True Blood' Exec Producer Will Pen Script
5
'Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks' Film Adaptation

An update to a project first announced in 2010 - a project I actually thought was very likely dead, given how much time has passed since its initial revealing. 

In 2010, Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Films acquired rights to the bestselling non-fiction novel, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, written by Rebecca Skloot, which tells the story of Lacks, a poor African America Baltimore mother of five, who died of cervical cancer in 1951 at age 31, and whose cancerous cells were removed from her body and cultured for medical research by doctors at Johns Hopkins (without her family's knowledge), which led to significant breakthroughs in medical research, ranging from aiding the development of the cure for polio to AIDS-related treatments.

But that doesn't even begin to really uncover the story of this mostly unknown black woman, her family, and the contributions she unknowingly made to science. I read the book a couple of years ago, and it's an absolutely riveting read! There's a lot of meat here, a lot I didn't know before I started reading it, and I can see why Oprah would be interested in making a film based on Lack's story, and aftermath.

Oprah reportedly loved the book so much that she "couldn't put it down," as she said almost 4 years ago, and read all 384 pages in one sitting. Plans were for a film adaptation that was said to be high on HBO's priority list, thanks to Oprah's encouragement. After almost 4 years, just how much of a "priority" was it for HBO?

The book was published in February of 2010, so it's still relatively fresh, and I encourage you to pick up a copy if you haven't.

It's been announced this week that True Blood executive producer Alexander Woo, has been tapped by HBO to pen the adaptation of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. Alan Ball and Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Films are of course shepherding the project. 

No ETA on the completed project just yet.

In the meantime, I learned of this old documentary on Henrietta Lacks and her so-called "immortal cell line." It's titled The Way of All Flesh. It's not comprehensive, and shouldn't be relied on as a sole source. Consider it a companion to the book, which you should read.

It's 55 minutes long, and embedded below:

This article is related to: Alexander Woo, Oprah Winfrey


Shadow & ActNewsletter