Though he announced in 2010 he was setting up an adaptation of Larry Kramer’s autobiographical AIDS drama The Normal Heart, director Ryan Murphy (Eat Pay Love) has taken a little bit longer to pull things together than planned. But from the looks of the cast he’s assembling, it appears it was worth the wait, as Julia Roberts will star alongside Alec Baldwin, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and the already-attached Mark Ruffalo.
Kramer originally wrote and staged the play back in 1985, looking at the rise of HIV/Aids among New York’s gay community in the 1980s. It scored a Tony for Best Revival last year, and also won awards for John Benjamin Hickey and Ellen Barkin.
Ruffalo’s playing writer/activist Ned Weeks, who throws himself into the struggle to get the disease seen as something other than the “gay cancer” that many branded it at the time. Roberts will be Emma Brookner, a doctor who is one of the few medical professionals in New York to take the problem seriously.
Baldwin is on as Weeks’ brother, a lawyer who has a tough time with his brother’s homosexuality. Bomer’s signed on as Felix Turner, who romances Weeks and tragically contracts the disease. Finally there’s Parsons, who is reprising his role from the Broadway version, a fellow activist who is part of a gay men’s health crisis group.
Murphy is now looking to lock down the financing for the film, but with Roberts and the rest on board, that shouldn’t take too long. Meanwhile, the Glee co-creator has been busy on his other successful TV series, American Horror Story.
Roberts, who starred in Eat, will next be seen in Snow White tale Mirror Mirror. Baldwin has musical Rock Of Ages set to arrive this year as well as his day job on 30 Rock. Bomer was last seen in In Time and will next crop up in Steven Soderbergh’s stripper drama Magic Mike, while Parsons, usually best known as Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory, graced the big screen briefly in The Muppets. Last but by no means least there’s Ruffalo, who appears in The Avengers, which one or two of you might be aware of...