Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steele: 'How to Get Away w/ Murder' & 'Black-ish' - the Good & the Bad Steele: 'How to Get Away w/ Murder' & 'Black-ish' - the Good & the Bad Watch First Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) Watch First Trailer for 'Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B' (Premieres Saturday, 11/15) "Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia" - 'Scandal' Season 4 Premiere Recap "Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia" - 'Scandal' Season 4 Premiere Recap Shonda Rhimes Night Is a Big Success for ABC. 'How to Get Away With Murder" Draws 14 Million Viewers Total Shonda Rhimes Night Is a Big Success for ABC. 'How to Get Away With Murder" Draws 14 Million Viewers Total 'How to Get Away with Murder' Episode 1 Recap + Your Thoughts... 'How to Get Away with Murder' Episode 1 Recap + Your Thoughts... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) 'Drumline: A New Beat' (Sequel to the 2002 Film) Gets a Premiere Date + New Trailer (Watch It) Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Thankfully, 'The Equalizer' Gets an "R" Rating From the MPAA (No Surprise Here) Thankfully, 'The Equalizer' Gets an "R" Rating From the MPAA (No Surprise Here) Early Reviews Say 'How To Get Away With Murder' is Very Much in the Style of 'Scandal.' Good Thing or Not? Early Reviews Say 'How To Get Away With Murder' is Very Much in the Style of 'Scandal.' Good Thing or Not? 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) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series 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) 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... Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More) Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More)

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
3
'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