Things have been a bit quiet here as I finished up my crazy
four-month-long book tour, and there’s much to catch up on. First, some big news just in: Oprah,
Alan Ball, and HBO are going to be making a movie version of my book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. This news has gotten quite a bit of
coverage on Twitter and elsewhere, with me fielding questions about the movie,
and various folks voting on who should play which character in the film (not
that I have any control over such things, but it’s still fun to think about).
The combination of Oprah, Alan Ball, and HBO is nothing
short of a dream team for me. I’ve always been a huge fan of everyone involved, and I think HBO is the perfect home for this movie. Several
people have asked why I went with HBO instead of a big screen major
motion picture version, and there are several reasons. HBO makes some of the best and smartest movies
out there these days, particularly when it comes to complex true stories that
mix science, ethics, and real human stories. Check out You Don’t Know Jack, the recent HBO film starring Al Pacino as Jack Kevorkian,
and Temple Grandin starring Claire Danes, to name just a few of the most recent examples. It was very important to me that the
film find a home that would do justice to the family’s story, the
science, and the scientists — I have no doubt HBO, Oprah, and Ball will do
just that. And the Lacks family and I will be involved along the way: We’ll be consulting on the film. As Ball said in a recent interview
about the HeLa movie, “This is going to be a journey that we’ll all remember for the rest of
our lives.” I’m very excited for it.
Photo captions: Pictured above left: Oprah.
Pictured above right: Alan Ball.