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
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.
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
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
Bomer left his family to prepare for Normal Heart role.)