Ryan Murphy, Julia Roberts
Ryan Murphy is heading to HBO.
The co-creator behind Glee, American Horror Story and The New Normal — who also just became a first-time father — will direct an adaptation of The Normal Heart for HBO, the cable network announced Friday.
Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer will star in the TV film, which is being adapted by original playwright Larry Kramer, who helped form one of the first advocacy groups for HIV prevention and care. The Normal Heart centers on the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis of the early 1980s in New York City. Roberts will play Dr. Emma Brookner, paraplegic physician who treats some earlier victims. Ruffalo will portray Ned Weeks, who witnesses the disease and its effects first-hand in his gay community and starts asking questions. Bomer takes on the role of Felix, a reporter who enters into a relationship with Ned.
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The project marks Murphy's second collaboration with Roberts, who starred in his 2010 drama Eat Pray Love, and his third with Bomer, who guest-starred on Glee and will also appear on Tuesday's episode of The New Normal. The project will mark a rare small-screen turn for Oscar winner Roberts, who last guest-starred on Law & Order back in 1999.
Murphy will executive-produce the project with Glee executive producer Dante Di Loreto, Jason Blum (The Reader) and Dede Gardner (Eat Pray Love).
The Normal Heart debuted at New York's Public Theatre in 1985 and was revived in Los Angeles, London and off-Broadway. The 2011 Broadway revival won three Tony nominations, including Best Revival, Best Featured actor and Best Featured Actress for The New Normal's Ellen Barkin.
The Normal Heart will premiere on HBO sometime in 2014.