HBO Films has officially announced its upcoming adaptation of Larry Kramer’s drama The Normal Heart, directed by Emmy winner Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story). Production on the film begins in New York City later this year, with a slated 2014 release.
Previously announced stars Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo are attached to lead the movie, with Matt Bomer co-starring. Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons (who starred in the 2011 Broadway production) were also previously reported to be among the supporting cast. Roberts will play Dr. Emma Brookner opposite Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, Bomer as Felix Turner, Baldwin as Ben Weeks and Parsons as Tommy Boatwright.
Set in New York in the early 1980s at the beginning of the HIV-AIDS crisis, Kramer’s Tony-winning play follows gay activists and their allies in the medical community as they struggle to expose the truth about the “gay epidemic” to a nation in denial.
The play debuted at the Public Theater on April 21, 1985, starring the late Brad Davis as Ned. The Normal Heart was revived at the Public in April 2004, with Raul Esparza as Ned. The show's Broadway premiere, starring Joe Mantello, John Benjamin Hickey and Ellen Barkin, opened on April 27, 2011, and won three Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Play.