EXCLUSIVE: Oprah Winfrey is in talks to star for HBO Films in Ruined, an adaptation of Lynn Nottage’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Ruined, which won an array of awards during its 2009 off-Broadway run, focuses 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. Nottage is writing the script and Oprah Winfrey and Kate Forte will be executive producers.
Ruined has been a top priority project for Harpo since Winfrey and Forte moved the company over from ABC to HBO. They have set up several projects so far, including a 7-hour miniseries adaptation of America: In the King Years, based on the Taylor Branch book trilogy. Winfrey, who last played an onscreen starring role in the 1998 Jonathan Demme-directed Beloved, attached herself earlier this fall to an untitled feature comedy with Meryl Streep and Sandra Bullock that is being written and will be directed by Sex and the City‘s Michael Patrick King for Universal Pictures.