Premium cable network HBO on Sunday will premiere The Normal Heart, director Ryan Murphy's film adaptation of Larry Kramer's Tony-winning play about the early days of the AIDS pandemic in New York City.

The film features an all-star cast, including Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts.

Ruffalo – a co-star of the 2010 lesbian moms flick The Kids Are Alright – tackles his first gay role playing Ned Weeks, the hero of Kramer's play.

(Related: Elton John on Normal Heart; there is still an AIDS crisis.)

A film adaptation failed to gain traction in Hollywood for nearly 30 years, despite attempts by high-profile actors such as Barbra Streisand.

In 2012, Kramer accused Streisand of lacking “the burning passion to make it.”

“It was hard for me to be attacked like that by Larry,” Streisand recently told The Hollywood Reporter. “I worked for so many years on it without ever taking a penny. I will always believe in Larry's play and its powerful theme of everyone's right to love.”

In more recent comments, Kramer told The New York Times that he felt one of the reasons the project faltered under Streisand's leadership was because she found gay sex “very distasteful,” a claim Streisand has denied.

In conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, Parsons, who also starred in the play and is openly gay, said that AIDS transcends sexual orientation: “I've worked with too many straight colleagues on this who have been emotionally devastated by it to foolishly believe it's just a gay issue.”

In 2011, Murphy purchased the rights to the film.

(Related: Matt Bomer left his family to prepare for Normal Heart role.)