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Rose Byrne Joins Oprah Winfrey in HBO’s ‘Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’

Adaptation is based on Rebecca Skloot’s bestselling book of the same name

Rose Byrne will star in HBO Films’ “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” opposite Oprah Winfrey, TheWrap has learned.

The story tells the true story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cells were used to create the first immortal human cell line. Told through the eyes of her daughter, Deborah Lacks (Winfrey), the film chronicles her search to learn about the mother she never knew and to understand how the unauthorized harvesting of Lacks’ cancerous cells in 1951 led to unprecedented medical breakthroughs, changing countless lives and the face of medicine forever.

The adaptation is based on the book of the same name by Rebecca Skloot. Byrne will play the author, described as a young journalist who, in her efforts to tell the story of Henrietta Lacks and her “immortal” cells, forms a close bond with Deborah.

Winfrey will executive produce the project through her Harpo Films company, along with Harpo’s Carla Gardini, Alan Ball through Your Face Goes Here Entertainment, Peter Macdissi through Your Face Goes Here Entertainment and Lydia Dean Pilcher through Cine Mosaic Productions.

Skloot will serve as co-executive producer.

George C. Wolfe wrote the script and will direct.