After several years in development, The Normal Heart is finally on its way, with Glee’s Ryan Murphy directing an all-star cast for a film that will first air on HBO in the US on May 25th. It looks like it’s gonna be pretty good, with the movie bringing out the fear and confusion present in Larry Kramer’s classic play about the early days of AIDS, before those affected decide to fight back against a system that is almost as afraid of the type of people often affected by HIV as it is of the disease itself.
Mark Ruffalo takes on the lead role of Ned Weeks, who in the early 80s is one of the first people to raise an alarm about the new disease that initially was known as ‘Gay Cancer’, but which later was called HIV/AIDS. Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons will be gay activist Tommy Boatwright, a role he previously took in a 2011 Broadway revival of the play.
Julia Roberts is Emma Brookner, a doctor who is the only one of her peers in New York taking AIDS seriously. Matt Bomer is Felix Turner, a gay fashion journalist who becomes Ned’s lover. Jonathan Groff is playing an early victim of the disease called Craig, whose boyfriend, Taylor Kitsch, starts off as a closeted investment banker but eventually becomes an AIDS activist.
Larry Kramer’s play is considered one of the most important reactions to the early AIDS epidemic, written by someone who has on the front lines of the fight, such as co-founding Gay Men’s Health Crisis and ACT UP. He later wrote a follow-up, The Destiny Of Me.
The rest of the world should get to see The Normal Heart shortly after its US HBO debut.