Oprah Winfrey will continue to make her mark on the small screen with a new HBO movie as she gears up for the premiere of another OWN series.
People reports the 62-year-old will star in an adaptation of a 2010 book by Rebecca Skloot called “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.” It follows the true story of Lacks, a Black woman whose cervical cancer cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line – HeLa – in 1951.
Winfrey has been attached to the project since rights to the HBO Films production were first acquired six years ago. She signed on to executive produce and star in the biopic. Skloot will co-produce with Winfrey and Alan Ball. Members of Lack’s family, including sons Zakariyya Rahman and David Lacks, Jr., and granddaughter Jeri Lacks, will provide consultation for the film.
The former daytime talk show host will play Deborah Lacks, the movie’s protagonist who discovers how the unauthorized use of her mother’s cancer cells led to novel medical discoveries.
Though no premiere date has been set at this time, filming is scheduled to start this summer.
Winfrey is also set to star in the drama “Greenleaf.” The series follows a Memphis megachurch pastor named James Greenleaf and his family. The media mogul has a recurring role in the series. Like the Lacks movie, Winfrey is again serving as executive producer.
Creator Craig Wright worked with Winfrey to develop her vision for the show. Much attention was given to the religious family’s home, and the executive producer wanted a large dwelling.
“Adequate is just so mediocre. Who wants an adequate house?” Winfrey said.
Though she and Wright “don’t all agree all the time,” the pair managed to get a mansion as the family home. It is prominently featured in the series’ opening scenes.
“Greenleaf” will debut on Oprah’s OWN network this summer, according to ABC News.
In a statement on the OWN website, Winfrey wrote that the “show is going to be a fun ride and will hopefully have viewers on the edge of their pews week after week.”