Media Titan, Oprah Winfrey, is producing and starring in an upcoming HBO biopic on the story of Henrietta Lacks.
Lacks, is the African American woman whose cervical cancer cells were taken without her permission in 1951 and used to create the immortal cell line. Her HeLa cell line has been used to help create the polio vaccine and as part of scientific research from cancer to AIDS to gene mapping and even cosmetics.
Basically, modern medicine is completely indebted to Lacks, who passed away in 1951 and whose family never received any compensation from the multibillion-dollar medical industry that benefits daily from the use of her HeLa cells. So, this film is important for so many reasons.
Winfrey will play the role of Lack’s daughter, Deborah and the film will be told from her perspective.
The OWN CEO called the film a “passion project” and is no stranger to playing powerful stories or bringing them to the big screen.
She has also hired Lacks’ surviving family members as consultants for the film, so it looks like the project is on sound footing from the start.
Production on the film entitled The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks begins this summer and a release date is pending.