Larry Kramer’s fiery 1985 play The Normal Heart, which was revived on Broadway in 2011, is on its way to be one of HBO’s most prestigious projects in 2014. Based on the efforts of activist Ned Weeks in the early 1980s to create an HIV advocacy group, The Normal Heart also focused on the members of the angered gay community in New York during those years, as the AIDS crisis was about to become part of the national conversation.
A short trailer for the HBO film, which airs on May 25th, is now online and only shows a few glimpses at the all-star cast, which includes Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks and Taylor Kitsch as Felix Turner, a journalist who falls in love with Weeks. Matt Bomer, Alfred Molina, Jim Parsons, Jonathan Groff, Alec Baldwin and Julia Roberts round out the terrific ensemble.
Unfortunately, there is not a lot of footage in this trailer, but HBO does seem confident in the film’s prospects, having already commissioned a sequel that Kramer will also write (he pens this adaptation, too). The Normal Heart also has director Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story) on board, who is no stranger to tackling gay-friendly subject matter.
Even though there is not much in the trailer, the play itself is one of the most acclaimed in contemporary theatre. It won three Tonys in 2011, including Best Revival of a Play, as well as acting honours for Ellen Barkin and John Benjamin Hickey (The Big C). Jim Parsons also appeared in the role of Tommy Boatwright and will reprise that same role in HBO’s drama.
In the wake of the Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club and acclaimed documentaries We Were Here and How to Survive a Plague, stories about the early days of the HIV/AIDS crisis are very prominent in contemporary cinema. With a terrific all-star cast and strong source material, expect The Normal Heart to be a big hit for HBO, ratings-wise and at awards season.
Source: The Playlist