Sneak peek: Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts in ‘The Normal Heart’

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.

White Collar” star Matt Bomer plays Felix Turner, a fashion journalist who falls in love with Weeks; John Benjamin Hickey won the Tony for this role in the revival. 

And Emmy winner Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) reprises his role from that production as a Southern gay activist.

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