Almost three decades after Larry Kramer‘s play “The Normal Heart” debuted in 1985, this visceral look at the early days of the AIDS crisis is finally getting a screen adaptation. Ryan Murphy (“American Horror Story,” “Glee”) has assembled a top-notch cast for this telefilm that debuts on HBO on May 25. (Watch the trailer below.)
Expect this production to be a major contender come Emmy time. With the splitting of the TV Movie & Miniseries category into separate ones, “The Normal Heart” is a strong favorite for the former. However, as the performance categories remain combined, there will be major competition for these awards. Vote for Best TV Movie/Mini Actor at the bottom of this post using our easy drag-and-drop menu.
Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo (“The Kids Are All Right”) takes on the main role of Ned Weeks, a man who fights back against the widespread fear of the disease. And Oscar champ Julia Roberts (“Erin Brockovich”) reunites with Murphy, who helmed “Eat Pray Love,” to play a doctor, Emma Brookner, who is spurred into activism by the lack of response from the medical community. Ellen Barkin won a Tony for this role in the 2011 Broadway revival.
And Emmy winner Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) reprises his role from that production as a Southern gay activist.