Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo are set to star in HBO Films' "The Normal Heart." Roberts' "Eat Pray Love" director Ryan Murphy will helm the project, set to shoot in New York City later this year. The film will be based on Larry Kramer's Tony Award winning play of the same name. Kramer also penned the screenplay.
"The Normal Heart" depicts the HIV-AIDS crisis' and the sexual politics of the early 1980s as gay activists and allies fought to expose the truth behind the epidemic amidst the city's denial. Roberts will play Dr. Emma Brookner, a paraplegic physician who treats many of those who first contracted the disease, while Ruffalo will play Ned Weeks, a man who witnesses the disease first-hand. Matt Bomer ("Magic Mike") plays a reporter who becomes Ruffalo's lover.
The film will be exec produced by Murphy, Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto. A 2014 release is planned.
More on Kramer's play below:
In 1981, writer Larry Kramer hosted a gathering of six gay men and their friends to discuss the “gay cancer,” and to talk about fundraising for research. This informal meeting in Kramer’s home would lead to the formation of Gay Men’s Health Crisis, one of the first advocacy groups for HIV prevention and care.
Kramer’s play debuted at New York’s Public Theatre in 1985 and was revived in Los Angeles and London and off-Broadway. The 2011 Broadway revival garnered five Tony nominations, winning for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress.