When Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart opened as a stage play in 1985, it changed the way we talked about AIDS in American culture. Not only was the landmark production one of the first to address the disease’s impact on gay men, but it would also give voice to those impacted by the then-mysterious plague that was chipping away at the gay world.
After a successful Broadway revival in 2011, there’s been a renewed interest in the largely autobiographical story about writer and activist Ned Weeks and his closeted lover Felix Turner set in New York City in the early 1980s. For many years, there have been rumblings that a movie was in the works (even Barbara Streisand was linked to the project at one point).
But Hollywood honchos have only now confirmed via Deadline that HBO is, indeed, producing a film adaptation of the play (Kramer’s penning it himself) to be directed by Ryan Murphy (Glee, The New Normal, American Horror Story) and starring Julia Roberts, Matt Bomer and Mark Ruffalo.
Here’s a piece Philly’s Equality Forum put together about Kramer’s work and involvement with ACT UP for LGBT History Month: