Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo Star in Ryan Murphy’s ‘The Normal Heart’ Film Adaptation

Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo Star in Ryan Murphy’s ‘The Normal Heart’ Film Adaptation

Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play “The Normal Heart” is officially going into production this year, and will likely air in 2014 on HBO. Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer will star in the film.

The project was first announced about a year ago, but this is the first news of HBO’s involvement.

“We are so proud to be involved with this monumental project,” said Michael Lombardo, president of HBO programming, in a statement. “Ryan has assembled an extraordinary cast to bring Larry Kramer’s landmark theatrical achievement to the screen for the first time, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to bring this important film to HBO.”

“The Normal Heart” is the autobiographical account of Kramer’s days in New York during the AIDS crisis of the 1980s. Ruffalo plays Ned Weeks, the character based on Kramer that founded the HIV advocacy group Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and Roberts portrays Emma Brookner, the physician that treated many of the early HIV cases in the city.

“[The play] tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic.”

Bomer plays a reporter who becomes Weeks’ lover. When initial word of the film adaptation was announced early last year, it was reported that Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons (of “The Big Bang Theory”) also had signed on to be part of the cast, but the two actors were not included in the new official announcement.

“The Normal Heart” originally appeared Off-Broadway in 1985, and a Broadway revival was staged in 2011 that went on to win the Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play.