HBO Announces a Bucket of stars Coming in, Including Jennifer Lopez

Two HBO projects are bringing the goods

While it may be easy to scoff at big stars being cast in TV shows and movies, it is a proven strategy. It also happens to be one of HBO’s favorite strategies, and it has paid off time and time again. It’s also exciting to see movie stars take on roles that they wouldn’t usually, like Natalie Portman. Today, HBO made a few big announcements concerning upcoming casting for a couple of their projects.

First up, Jennifer Lopez is set to star in (and produce!) an original HBO movie about Griselda Blanco, according to Deadline. Blanco was called “The Cocaine Godmother” in the 70’s and 80’s, and Lopez seems genuinely jazzed about the opportunity. There’s not all that much more to tell right now and the movie doesn’t even have a name yet.

Next up, Oprah’s adaptation of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks has multiple new cast members, including Courtney B. Vance and Leslie Uggams. Vance is coming off American Crime Story Sir Lord Keenan Kester Cofield, a con man. That’s the king of all con man names right there. Uggams, who as in the original Roots, will play Henrietta’s cousin, Sadie. And there’s plenty more where that came from.

It’s exciting to see two new ideas continue to take shape, though The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is certainly farther along than Jennifer Lopez’s movie. Still, Lopez’s involvement in is a bit of a coup, and is definitely the more exciting news here. HBO fans have a lot to look forward to coming up, including Jon Stewart’s new show, which will be at least semi-animated and spoof the news.

Hopefully both of the new projects will end being worthwhile and that they won’t fall apart. That’s not likely, but seems to be more and more of a risk with HBO.