George C. Wolfe is having a good day. Wolfe was nominated for two Tony Awards May 3, for writing and directing the Broadway musical Shuffle Along. The announcement came within hours of the news that he will also write and direct The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a feature-length HBO film that will star Oprah Winfrey.
Winfrey will co-produce with Alan Ball and others. The story was first reported by Deadline.
Winfrey reportedly has been working on the project for several years, having optioned Rebecca Skloot's best-selling book about the real-life Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cervical cancer cells were harvested (without her permission) in 1951 and have been cloned and re-cloned since then for cancer research, creating as so-called ”immortal” cell line.
Winfrey will play Henrietta's daughter Deborah who tracks down the story of her mother's life and then traces the various uses of her cells, which bring up questions about medical ethics and race.
Shooting is scheduled to begin this summer. No broadcast date has been set.