January 4, 2013 at 8:11 pm #267986
Big HBO telefilm/EMMY news.
Roberts, Ruffalo set for “Normal Heart”
Thesps to star in HBO film based on Larry Kramer play
by Stuart Levine
Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo are set to star in the HBO film “The Normal Heart,” based on the Tony Award-winning play from Larry Kramer.
Ryan Murphy will direct and Kramer will write the telepic.
The play centers on the AIDS epidemic in New York in the early 1980s. Lead character Ned Weeks, based on Kramer himself, employs a very vocal approach to combatting and raising awareness of the disease.
Following an Off Broadway run in 1985, “The Normal Heart” finally arrived on Broadway in 2011.
Production on the telepic is set to begin in New York later this year, with a 2014 air date.
Roberts will play a paraplegic physician who treats some of the earliest AIDS patients. Ruffalo portrays Weeks and “White Collar” star Matt Bomer tackles the character of Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Weeks’ lover.
Murphy previously directed Roberts in the 2010 film “Eat Pray Love,” which was adapted from the bestselling book.
From Variety.comJanuary 4, 2013 at 8:23 pm #267988
A TV Movie?
I guess Julia will be an Emmy winner!January 4, 2013 at 8:51 pm #267989
Oh, Julia. You are SO WASTED.
Well, let’s see how it works. La vie e belle.January 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm #267990
Replace Ryan Murphy and we’re all good. I recommend a small-but-acclaimed director. You know, one of those directors’ whose films get Oscar nods but not for Picture/Director. Somebody like J.A. Bayona, Todd Haynes (who has already worked for HBO in the past), Derek Cianfrance (currently working on an HBO comedy series) or, a personal favorite of mine, Todd Field would be perfect for this.January 4, 2013 at 9:41 pm #267991
You guys know that this was supposed to be a movie released at theater in 2014, right? Murphy fought for this project and convinced Roberts to play this part, he’s not a good director, but well… I’ll have hope.January 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm #267992
The play is a friggin’ masterpiece. And the last revival on Broadway reminded us of that.
Having said that, Ryan Murphy will more than likely find a way to mess this up. But if Larry Kramer is breathing his usual fire down his neck, perhaps Ryan will have a chance to make something truly remarkable without the mammoth talent of Miss Jessica Lange as his poster child.January 5, 2013 at 8:18 am #267993
Meh to Julia Roberts & Ryan Murphy…I don’t think either can handle this project.
Yay to Mark Ruffalo, one of the best out there!!!
Didn’t Barbra Streisand talk for years about directing this???January 5, 2013 at 9:11 am #267994
“Meh to Julia Roberts & Ryan Murphy…I don’t think either can handle this project.”
My sentiment, exactly. Half-heartedly, a friend and I went to see “Eat, Pray, Love,” since there was really nothing else at the theater, and we just basically only cared about the scenery. Halfway through the film, my friend whispered to me, “This movie is really bad.” I was thinking the very same thing. Gah… Not being much of a JR fan to begin with, and with Ryan Murphy directing, I think I’ll have to give this one a pass, regardless of the other talent involved. I’ll just read y’all’s comments here, just in case it turns out to be amazing.January 5, 2013 at 9:49 am #267995
I’m excited for this. “Normal Heart” is an amazing piece of theatre- it would be hard for Murphy to mess this up.
I’m really not sure why people are so down on Roberts- she is a great actress. But apparently if you’re not Meryl Streep, and you’re a megastar, people here just hate you. She didn’t get where she is today without talent. Plus, she’s clearly passionate about the material.
In addition to Ruffalo, Matt Bomer and Jim Parsons are on board, with Parsons playing the role he played in the revival.
I read a really interesting interview with Kramer several years ago, and from what it seems, there is no love lost between he and Streisand, and it all springs from her attempts to film the play. Not sure what happened, but it sounded ugly. Considering that both are notoriously difficult people (not unlikable, just difficult), I guess that’s not surprising.January 5, 2013 at 11:18 am #267996
“But apparently if you’re not Meryl Streep, and you’re a megastar, people here just hate you.”
I know this may come as a shock, but it’s quite possible to “not be a fan” of a megastar without hating her, or that she’s “not Meryl Streep” being the reason for not caring for her. Being critical of someone does not equal hate, and I wish we’d drop that expression (especially “hater”, which sounds so juvenile) from discussions. We’re adults here, for the most part, and are entirely capable of not being a fan of someone without hating them. /rant.January 5, 2013 at 12:35 pm #267997
You guys know that this was supposed to be a movie released at theater in 2014, right? Murphy fought for this project and convinced Roberts to play this part, he’s not a good director, but well… I’ll have hope.
Yes, we know that. That’s part of why the news is such a big deal. It was supposed to be on the big screen, and now it’s going to be a telefilm. This could be “Angels in America” Emmy level if it’s done right. Having Larry Kramer on board will hopefully even out Ryan Murphy’s iinvolvement. I’m more at issue with the casting not going to its Broadway revival people, especially Tony winners John Benjamin Hickey and Ellen Barkin. Their lack of “star power” shouldn’t be a concern now, but the current cast is very Murphy-friendly (and it’s not like he doesn’t have a connection with him; see Barkin on “The New Normal”). Either way, I know I’m watching this when it premieres.January 5, 2013 at 4:15 pm #267998
I’d be more excited if Ryan Murphy wasn’t directing it. That being said I am interested to see what Julia Roberts will do with the role. SHe has big shoes to fill. Ellen Barkin was amazing and deserved her Tony for her performance!!January 5, 2013 at 5:06 pm #267999
Ryan Murphy is directing. This will not be good.January 5, 2013 at 9:05 pm #268000
I really don’t know much about the source material, but I’m certianly interested in seeing this now. I like Ryan Murphy and Julia Roberts and will look forward to seeing it.
But yes, wasn’t Barbara Streisand involved with this at one-point? I feel like she was? Didn’t she and Larry Kramer have some sort of falling out at one point?January 6, 2013 at 3:37 pm #268001
Saw the revival on Broadway, thought it was pretty good but too speechy and lends itself to overwrought performances if not done right. In other words, it could perfectly fit Ryan Murphy’s worst creative instincts to the point of being completely terrible. Bigger! Louder! Make those themes a little bit more obvious, because they’re not getting it in the cheap seats! Try smashing some dishes during that argument scene … why are there dishes in a doctor’s office? Who cares, it’s better that way!
You never know. With important subject matter like this, Murphy might finally discover the value of restraint, but the maker of “Popular,” “Glee,” “Nip/Tuck,” and “American Horror Story” — not to mention “Eat Pray Love,” which was terrible — has yet to change his stripes. I’m cautiously pessimistic.