Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo to star in Ryan Murphy’s ‘Normal Heart’ for HBO

By Daniel Levine,

Ryan Murphy is set to direct an adaptation of the Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart for HBO Films. Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo will star in the film, which will air in 2014.

The project was first reported on a year ago, but HBO finally agreed to move ahead with the project on Friday, reports The Hollywood Reporter.

According to Entertainment Weekly, Larry Kramer, who wrote the play, will also write the script for the TV version. Production will start in New York City later in 2013.

Roberts will play Dr. Emma Brookner in the drama, which focuses on the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York during the early 1980s. Ruffalo has been cast as Ned Weeks, who has been a witness to the disease’s effects. White Collar and Magic Mike actor Matt Bomer will play a reporter and Ned’s lover.

Kramer’s play premiered on Broadway in 1985 and was revived in 2011.

This is Murphy’s first project with HBO. He is best known as the co-creator of Glee, Nip/Tuck and American Horror Story. He last worked with Roberts on Eat Pray Love, which he directed.

Roberts will next be seen in August: Osage County with Benedict Cumberbatch. Ruffalo is currently working on Bennett Miller’s Foxcatcher with Channing Tatum.

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