We’ve had a few fairly short trailers for The Normal Heart, but now HBO has released a new one, which suggests this is going to be a dramatic and powerful adaptation of Larry Kramer’s seminal play.
It’s not going to pull any punches in its look at the early days of AIDS in New York, when the disease didn’t have a name and no one knew what it was that was suddenly striking down gay men. Inevitably people are already talking about which Emmys and Golden Globes it might win.
In the film 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. Kramer 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 on May 25th.