Ken Burns Sets Cancer Documentary

Ken Burns Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images

Ken Burns Headshot - P 2012

Acclaimed documentary filmmaker Ken Burns is adapting the 2010 bestseller The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer into a three-part six-hour documentary with the author, Siddhartha Mukherjee, who is also a doctor. 

Burns will executive produce the film Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies, which will be directed by the award-winning filmmaker Barak Goodman.
PBS will air it in the spring of 2015.
“My work as a filmmaker is directly linked to the death of my mother from cancer when I was 11," said Burns.
"I watched her suffer and struggle with this awful disease, forever creating for me a desire to explore the past and to listen deeply to the stories that we all have to tell. I was frightened and exhilarated by Sid’s book and thrilled [to] collaborate to turn this remarkable accomplishment into a film.”
“I am of course honored to have an opportunity to work with such accomplished filmmakers and with such inspiring partners,” noted Dr. Mukherjee. “Emperor very much grew out of my experience as a cancer physician trying to navigate and to understand this historic disease."
"Treating cancer is one of the most significant human challenges we’ve ever faced. But now, for the first time, we are at an extraordinary moment in the history of cancer research because we finally are beginning to understand what causes cancer at a cellular, or molecular, or a genetic level in a way we just did not know 10 years ago or even five years ago. This project will provide the public with a clearer vision of where we are in this extraordinary journey.”
Stand Up To Cancer (SU2C), a program of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) that works to accelerate innovative cancer research and to increase awareness about progress being made in the fight against the disease, will partner with WETA in Washington, D.C., and the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) to create a national outreach and engagement campaign surrounding the film, including special screenings, discussion groups and an educational curriculum for schools.