With Oprah Winfrey set to retire her longrunning talk show next September, she has no plans to say out of the limelight (or off the covers of her own magazine) and seems to be gearing up some film projects. Earlier this fall, she became attached to a comedy with heavyweights Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep set in the world of home shopping networks, with “Sex And The City” director Michael Patrick King set to sit in the director’s chair. That one is gearing up to get into production sometime next year, but Oprah is keeping her options open.
Deadline reports that the actress is now attached to star in “Ruined” for HBO Films. Written by Lynn Nottage, the Pulitzer Prize-winning play centers “on a brothel in war-torn Congo and the struggles of its madam, Mama Nadi, to keep herself and the women working for her from getting caught between the government and rebel armies.” So, like a “Hotel Rwanda” for prostitutes? Okay, we’re being flip and while we haven’t seen the play, if it’s earning Pulitzers it’s probably got some real dimension to it.
Nottage will write the screenplay with Oprah and Kate Forte is executive producing what is being described as a “top priority” project. Oprah’s last appearance onscreen was in Jonathan Demme‘s adaptation of Toni Morrison‘s “Beloved” in 1998. Since then, she’s voiced characters in a handful of animated movies (“Bee Movie,” “Charlotte’s Web,” “The Princess And The Frog“) but hasn’t starred in anything. Her most recognized film role is easily her turn in Steven Spielberg‘s “The Color Purple.”
No word yet on production dates but considering it’s still at script stage, it’s probably still a bit of a way off. [Deadline]