Rose Byrne Signs up with The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks


Rose Byrne joins Oprah’s HBO film

It’s always a biggish deal when someone sings on for a HBO films. HBO original movies don’t get quite the same amount of attention as major studio releases in theaters, but it is fair to say the they’re second in line. And for good reason, as HBO’s original movies tend to score major accolades and award nominations.

Just looking at HBO’s 94 Emmy nominations is proof enough of that — both All The Way and Confirmation are up for Emmy’s.

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Deadline has announced that Rose Byrne has joined Oprah’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the story of a woman whose cells helped create the first immortal cell. So, you know, kind of a big deal. The movie is set to be about Lacks’ daughter, played by Oprah, who tries to learn more about her mother. Rose Byrne will play Rebecca Skloot, a journalist who would eventually go on to write the book that the movie is based on.

The movie will be directed by George C. Wolfe, who directed Angels in America on Broadway. He was not, however, involved in HBO’s adaptation of the play. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is perfect for HBO, and fits in well with the networks past works based on true stories. It’s far too early to know if The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks will be worth award gold, but the odds are in its favor.

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There is not yet a timeframe for the movie, though 2017 would be a safe bet. This will be the first Oprah project for HBO. Her film company, Harpo Films, signed on to distribute through HBO back in 2008, though the company was shut down before producing anything. As we get closer to the eventual release, expect The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks to gain a fair bit of attention.