The Normal Heart

Sawyer

Definitely Not 40
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http://www.deadline.com/2013/01/jul...-normal-heart-hbo-movie-ryan-murphy-director/
Julia Roberts And Mark Ruffalo To Star In HBO Movie ‘The Normal Heart’, Ryan Murphy To Direct
By THE DEADLINE TEAM

HBO announced this afternoon at TCA that it has greenlighted The Normal Heart, an original movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play that will star Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo in the key roles and co-star Matt Bomer. The film is being written by Kramer, while Ryan Murphy is set to direct and executive produce along with Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto. It’s slated to begin production later this year in New York City for a slated 2014 debut on the premium network. The play tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Roberts will play Emma Brookner, the paraplegic physician who treats several of the earliest victims of the disease. Ruffalo will play Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand the mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Bomer will play Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover.

Kramer’s play debuted at New York’s Public Theatre in 1985 and was revived in Los Angeles and London and off-Broadway. The 2011 Broadway revival garnered five Tony nominations, winning for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor for John Benjamin Hickey as Turner and Best Featured Actress for Ellen Barkin as the doctor.
I've seen Murphy mention this here and there lately, but I wasn't sure what kind of progress was being made.
 
http://www.deadline.com/2013/03/jim...-ryan-murphy-directed-movie-the-normal-heart/
Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch Join HBO’s Ryan Murphy-Directed Movie ‘The Normal Heart’
By NELLIE ANDREEVA

EXCLUSIVE: The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons and Friday Night Lights alum Taylor Kitsch will co-star opposite Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer in The Normal Heart, HBO‘s original movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play, which is being written by Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy. The project tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. He was previously attached to Murphy’s adaptation when it was eyed as a theatrical feature. Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Roberts plays physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS. Ruffalo plays Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand the mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover. Murphy executive produces with Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto. Production is slated to begin later this year in New York for a 2014 debut.
Kitsch as part of an ensemble again instead of being forced to the forefront of the summer movie season, vastly overestimating his draw as a "leading man"?

If he keeps this up, his career might actually start making sense. :o
 
http://www.deadline.com/2013/04/jonathan-groff-normal-heart-hbo-movie-joe-mantello/
Jonathan Groff And Joe Mantello Join HBO’s Ryan Murphy Movie ‘The Normal Heart’
By NELLIE ANDREEVA

Glee‘s Jonathan Groff and Joe Mantello have been cast in The Normal Heart, HBO‘s original movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play, which is being written by Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy. They join Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitsch in the pic, which tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Production is slated to begin later this year in New York for a 2014 debut.

Groff, repped by WME, already has a gig with HBO, having been cast as a lead in the premium network’s Michael Lannen pilot, which revolves around three thirtysomething friends living in San Francisco who grapple with the complexities of the modern gay experience. In Normal Heart he will play Craig, the first lover of Bruce Niles (Kitsch), an early victim of HIV-AIDS. Mantello will play Mickey Marcus, an instrumental member of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis.

Murphy executive produces with Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto.
Groff as Kitsch's lover, huh?
 
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/live-feed/ryan-murphy-hbos-normal-heart-669775
Ryan Murphy on HBO's 'The Normal Heart': 'It's a Love Story'
5:45 PM PST 1/9/2014 by Lesley Goldberg

The prolific producer says he worked with Larry Kramer on the script and added a considerable amount to the Tony winner's play.

A humble and reflective Ryan Murphy was joined by an all-star cast Thursday to preview HBO's upcoming TV movie The Normal Heart, an adaptation of Larry Kramer's play about the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s.

Directed by Murphy and written by Oscar nominee Larry Kramer, who won a Tony for his 1985 play of the same name, the drama tells the story about the onset of the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. It explores the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the epidemic to a city in denial. Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons and Taylor Kitch star.

For Murphy, The Normal Heart is a passion project. He met with Kramer and bought the rights to the project in 2010, recruiting Ruffalo to star and partner on the project. (Ruffalo is also credited as a co-executive producer.) The duo together brought in Julia Roberts and worked closely with Kramer on the HBO script, adding a considerable amount.

"[This] is similar to the play and very different," Murphy said. "I worked with Larry on the script for three years. We broke it out to 40- to 45 percent new material, and it's pretty broken out from the play."

While the drama takes place in the 1980s -- it ends in 1984, before an HIV test was developed -- Murphy says the TV movie still feels modern. "Larry wrote that play with the idea that silence does equal death. When people were writing about it, there were no solutions. It ends in '84, but what it's about feels modern to me with gay marriage in the news and people fighting to be loved and accepted for who they are. It's still very modern and very applicable to the way we're living today."

The showrunner behind American Horror Story and Glee also noted that The Normal Heart will address how Kramer -- a tireless activist -- was treated at the time as well as the continuing fight against HIV/AIDS, which has claimed more than 40 million people with 7,000 diagnosed as HIV positive every day.

Ruffalo stars as Ned Weeks (inspired by Kramer), who witnesses the then-mysterious disease and works tirelessly to seek answers, both from the medical community and federally as he pushes the federal and local governments to open their eyes to the rapidly growing virus. Roberts plays Dr. Emma Brookner, a polio survivor who treats several of the early victims of HIV/AIDS. Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival, and Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned's lover. Kitch portrays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker turned AIDS activist.

"We're looking at an epidemic as seen through a love story," Murphy noted, pointing to the relationships between Ned and Felix as well as between Ned and Emma, among others.

For his part, Ruffalo met Kramer early on and begged him to share stories about what he and his friends and colleagues went through at the time. "I spent quite a bit of time with him and came to really love him. I tried to go directly into him as much as I could and honor him and his complexity, his journey, his passion and his commitment to this movement, which is what I deem completely heroic," he said. "Ryan and I set out on this journey together. … We went a long distance to get to this place today."

Roberts, meanwhile, noted she'd been approached to play the part before but turned it down because she couldn't understand just who the character was at her core. But when Murphy called, the actress watched a documentary on polio and it all came together, prompting her to join the production. "It unlocked the door to who this woman is to me and where her ferocious, relentless pursuit of correctness comes from," Roberts said. "It was such a beautiful experience to get to play her and get to pay tribute to a person who never let anything stand between her and the right thing to do for someone else."
Asked if it was a priority to cast openly gay actors in the project -- both Bomer and Parsons are out -- Murphy noted he went after the best actor, gay or straight. "We never went after anyone based on sexuality," he said, noting that the world has changed a lot in the past five years.

Parsons and Bomer, for their part, noted that they don't think of themselves as gay actors but rather just actors. "I was only anxious about when the conversation would happen," the Big Bang Theory star said. "Then it happened and it was out there, and it was no big deal -- and that was a relief."

The Normal Heart debuts in May on HBO.

http://www.deadline.com/2014/01/normal-heart-sequel-hbo-ryan-murphy-larry-kramer/
HBO Eyes ‘The Normal Heart’ Sequel Written By Larry Kramer & Directed By Ryan Murphy
By NELLIE ANDREEVA

EXCLUSIVE: It took Larry Kramer 30 years to see his Tony-winning play The Normal Heart make it to the screen. The path may be far shorter for a Normal Heart follow-up. I’ve learned that HBO has commissioned a script by Kramer for a potential sequel to the HBO Films’ The Normal Heart, which is set to premiere in May. I hear The Normal Heart director Ryan Murphy, who spearheaded the effort to make the play into a movie, would be back at the helm, with the film’s stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons expected to return, along with the entire producing team: exec producers Murphy, Kramer, Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto.

The original movie (and the play) focused on the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City from 1981-84, ending before there was an HIV test. The sequel would chronicle the events from 1987 through the 1990s, with Ruffalo, whose Ned Weeks (modeled after Kramer) witnessed the disease first-hand in The Normal Heart, becoming an activist trying to help people who have been affected — also similar to Kramer’s real-life trajectory. Roberts plays Emma Brookner, the polio-stricken physician who treated several of the earliest victims of the disease; Parsons portrays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, a role he also played in the play’s 2011 Broadway revival.

At the TCA panel for Normal Heart yesterday, Murphy spoke of his passion for the project after falling in love with the play while he was still in college. He sought out Kramer in 2010 and presented his vision for the adaptation, landing the rights to the play, which underwent significant changes, with 40%-45% new material in the movie. But its message remained intact and, 30 years later, it is still as relevant as it was in the 1980s, Murphy said. “The thing that I was very drawn to with the material was it ends in 1984, but it feels very modern to me right now with gay marriage in the news and people sort of fighting to be loved for who they are and to be accepted for who they are,” he said. “I feel like it’s still very modern and very applicable to the way we’re living today, and I think that history has proven Larry Kramer to be right.”
 
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Full Trailer:

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Great movie, when RM cares about something he does an A+ job. Everyone performed greatly and it was really emotional.
 
Ive got this saved on my DVR, but havent had a chance to watch it yet.
 
Damn good, Ruffalo, Boomer, Jim Sheldon Cooper Parsons, Kitsch, Molina, Roberts, they all bring their A game here. A couple of moments in poor taste, but that's Ryan Murphy's style.
 
I liked this a lot. Ruffalo carried the movie tremendously and I like that everyone got their plate smashing/screaming and crying "Give me an Emmy!!1111" moment chance to shine. Bomer's performance, in particular, was heartbreaking. Such a shame that this guy is not in more movies. He's absolutely gorgeous and he can actually act. I'm happy for Kitsch too. He was great here. It even took me a while to recognize him.
 
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