An adaptation of Wally Lamb’s 1998 novel of the same name, the drama follows twin brothers Dominick and Thomas Birdsey (Ruffalo plays both) — the former suffers from PTSD, while the latter is a paranoid schizophrenic. HBO’s limited series bills itself as a story of betrayal, sacrifice, and forgiveness in 20th-century America, and its new trailer indicates the six-episode set will be faithful to the frequently heartbreaking source material.
[Editor’s note: The following brief synopsis contains slight spoilers for the early events of the book.] Believing his sacrifice will end the Gulf War, Thomas cuts his own hand off early in the story — the trailer offers a brief glimpse of a one-handed Thomas being restrained by hospital guards — and the rest of the novel centers on the aftereffects of that incident while Dominick learns more about his family and comes to terms with his situation. Lamb’s novel was featured in Oprah’s Book Club, as was “She’s Come Undone,” the author’s 1992 debut hardback.
Ruffalo will star alongside Melissa Leo, Rosie O’Donnell, Archie Panjabi, Imogen Poots, Juliette Lewis, Kathryn Hahn, and Aisling Franciosi. Leo portrays the brothers’ mother; O’Donnell plays a social worker; Panjabi plays Thomas’ newly appointed psychologist; Poots plays Dominick’s live-in girlfriend; Hahn plays Dominick’s ex-wife; and Lewis plays a grad student hired by Dominick.
HBO announced the adaptation of “I Know This Much Is True” in October 2018.
All six episodes of “I Know This Much Is True” are directed by Derek Cianfrance (“Blue Valentine,” “The Place Beyond the Pines”). Cianfrance, who wrote all six episodes, executive produces along with Ben Browning & Glen Basner for FilmNation Entertainment, Mark Ruffalo for William Hill Productions, Gregg Fienberg, Lynette Howell Taylor, Wally Lamb, Anya Epstein, and Jamie Patricof, as co-executive produces.
“I Know This Much Is True” will end Ruffalo’s six-year television hiatus. His last TV role was HBO’s 2014 television film “The Normal Heart,” and the actor’s other upcoming small screen roles will see the actor continue portraying Bruce Banner/Hulk in Disney+’s “What If…?” and “She-Hulk” Marvel Cinematic Universe projects.
“I Know This Much Is True” premieres April 27 on HBO. Check out the limited series’ new trailer below: