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by Alison Willmore
January 4, 2013 5:25 PM
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Ryan Murphy Will Direct Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in HBO AIDS Crisis Movie 'The Normal Heart'

Jim Parsons and Lee Pace in the Golden Theatre production of 'The Normal Heart' Joan Marcus
Ryan Murphy, the prolific creator of "American Horror Story," "The New Normal," "Glee" and others, will be stepping behind the camera again for HBO Films. Murphy will be directing Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in "The Normal Heart." The film will be an adaptation of Larry Kramer's Tony Award-winning play of the same name about the onset of the AIDS epidemic in New York in the early 1980s. The film will explore the country's sexual politics at the time and follow gay activists and members of the medical community as they try to convince a city in denial of the crisis.

Roberts will play Dr. Emma Brookner, a paraplegic physician who treats some of the disease's earliest victims, while Ruffalo will play Ned Weeks, a member of the gay community who witnesses deaths from the disease in his community and starts looking for answers. "White Collar" and "Magic Mike" star Matt Bomer will play Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes romantically involved with Ned. The film will look at how an informal meeting at Kramer's home led to the creation of the Gay Men's Health Crisis advocacy group.

The play "The Normal Heart" debuted at the Public Theatre in New York in 1985 and was revived in Broadway in 2011. The film, which was written by Kramer, will shoot in New York City later this year and premiere on HBO in 2014. Murphy is best known for his work in TV, but in the film world has directed "Running With Scissors" and "Eat Pray Love."

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