Cabler HBO on Friday confirmed that
Ryan Murphy will direct Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in the drama
The Normal Heart.
As previously reported, Ruffalo – a
co-star of the 2010 lesbian moms flick The Kids Are Alright –
will tackle his first gay role playing Ned Weeks, the hero of Larry
Kramer's Tony-winning play about the early days of the AIDS pandemic.
Kramer also wrote the film script.
Murphy, the creator of Fox's Glee,
NBC's The New Normal, and FX's Nip/Tuck and American
Horror Story, has cast Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner, the only
doctor in New York City taking the disease seriously.
White Collar star Matt Bomer
will also play gay in the film, taking on the role of gay fashion
journalist Felix Turner, who later becomes Weeks' boyfriend.
“We are so proud to be involved with
this monumental project,” said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO
Programming. “Ryan has assembled an extraordinary cast to bring
Larry Kramer's landmark theatrical achievement to the screen for the
first time, and we couldn't be more thrilled to bring this important
film to HBO.”
Production is slated to begin in New
York City later this year for 2014 debut on HBO.