Saturday, August 20, 2011

Movie: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Here is yet another book I have read this month that I find is being tossed around for the big screen. From a 2010 article in The Huffington Post:
Oprah Winfrey is joining with Alan Ball to produce an HBO film based on the nonfiction best-seller "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks."

The network said Wednesday that Ball, creator and executive producer of HBO's drama series "True Blood," will develop the project with Winfrey and her Harpo Films studio.

From Oprah's site:
Harpo Films topper Kate Forte also began chasing the rights in January after reading the book. Once Ball and Forte realized they were going after the same property and had a similar vision for turning it into an HBO movie, it was a no-brainer to join forces.

"Once Alan came aboard, it gave Rebecca the comfort of knowing that she'd found the perfect combination of producers and the perfect home for her story," Forte said.

Now that HBO's deal to option the book is closed, the partners are about to begin recruiting a screenwriter. Winfrey, Forte, Ball and Macoissi will exec produce for Ball's Your Face Goes Here banner and Harpo Films.

Ball and Forte were effusive about how Skloot's book easily lends itself to a screen adaptation. "It's an incredibly visually exciting story," Forte said. "The science of it all is told in an amazing way."

Forte noted that Winfrey read the book in one sitting. "She couldn't put it down," she said.

Ball couldn't say enough about how excited he is to work with Winfrey and Forte on such a significant project. Immortal Life is high on HBO Films' priority list, given the auspices.

"This is going to be a journey that we'll all remember for the rest of our lives," Ball predicted.

Is it just me, or are people STILL making money from Ms. Lacks cells? Maybe they are paying the family this time. It reminds me of a quote I wrote from "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand":

"We are all small-minded people, creeping about the earth grubbing for our own advantage and making the very mistakes for which we want to humiliate our neighbors." Major Pettigrew, pg 249

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