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.