HBO has commissioned Larry Kramer — whose Tony Award-winning play The Normal Heart will premiere on HBO in May — to pen a potential sequel to the film adaptation, according to

Director Ryan Murphy, an executive producer on the film, would be back to direct, and the film’s stars (Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons) and producing team (Murphy, Kramer, Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto) are expected to return.

The sequel would chronicle events from 1987 through the 1990s, and the character of Ned Weeks (modeled after Kramer and played by Ruffalo) would become an AIDS activist.

Kramer’s 1992 play The Destiny of Me followed The Normal Heart and focused on Ned Weeks as he checks into the National Institute of Health to undergo an experimental treatment for AIDS. The work was staged Off-Broadway by the Circle Repertory Company at the Lucille Lortel Theatre and featured Jonathan Hadary as Ned.

“The Normal Heart,” about gay life in the wake of the AIDS epidemic, was shot in New York City last summer. Kramer adapted his play, which took home the 2011 Tony Award for Best Revival, for the film.
Academy Award winner Roberts is cast as Dr. Emma Brookner, with Bomer as Felix Turner, Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, Taylor Kitsch as Bruce Niles, and Parsons reprising the role of Tommy Boatwright that he played on Broadway. Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, who portrayed Ned Weeks in the 2011 Broadway premiere of Kramer’s play, will play Mickey Marcus.

The cast also features Jonathan Groff (Spring Awakening), Stephen Spinella, Normal Heart Broadway co-director Joel Grey (Cabaret), Denis O’Hare (Take Me Out), B.D. Wong (M. Butterfly), Alfred Molina (Red), Corey Stoll (A View from the Bridge) and Finn Wittrock (Death of a Salesman).

Here’s how HBO breaks down the casting: “Ruffalo portrays Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand a mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover. Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright… Roberts plays physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS.”


Filed under: The Normal Heart

Mark Ruffalo will attend the 2014 Sundance Film Festival for the premiere of his new movie Infinitely Polar Bear (U.S. Dramatic).

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I have added photos of Mark at the 71st Annual Golden Globe Awards last night. Thanks to my friends Claudia and Annika for donating a few photos!

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2. “The Normal Heart” (HBO). Ryan Murphy joked that he took out a second mortgage on his house to buy the rights to Larry Kramer’s award-winning play about the AIDS crisis in the 1980?s. And by the looks of things, it paid off. With Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons starring in the TV movie, bowing in May, “Heart” stands to make an impression unlike anything on the small screen since “And the Band Played On.”


Filed under: The Normal Heart

It took Larry Kramer 30 years to see his Tony-winning play The Normal Heart make it to the screen. The path may be far shorter for a Normal Heart follow-up. According to Deadline, HBO has commissioned a script by Kramer for a potential sequel to the HBO Films’ The Normal Heart, which is set to premiere in May. The Normal Heart director Ryan Murphy, who spearheaded the effort to make the play into a movie, reportedly will be back at the helm, with the film’s stars Mark Ruffalo, Julia Roberts and Jim Parsons expected to return, along with the entire producing team: exec producers Murphy, Kramer, Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto.

The original movie (and the play) focused on the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City from 1981-84, ending before there was an HIV test. The sequel would chronicle the events from 1987 through the 1990s, with Ruffalo, whose Ned Weeks (modeled after Kramer) witnessed the disease first-hand in The Normal Heart, becoming an activist trying to help people who have been affected — also similar to Kramer’s real-life trajectory. Roberts plays Emma Brookner, the polio-stricken physician who treated several of the earliest victims of the disease; Parsons portrays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, a role he also played in the play’s 2011 Broadway revival.

At the TCA panel for Normal Heart, Murphy spoke of his passion for the project after falling in love with the play while he was still in college. He sought out Kramer in 2010 and presented his vision for the adaptation, landing the rights to the play, which underwent significant changes, with 40%-45% new material in the movie. But its message remained intact and, 30 years later, it is still as relevant as it was in the 1980s, Murphy said. “The thing that I was very drawn to with the material was it ends in 1984, but it feels very modern to me right now with gay marriage in the news and people sort of fighting to be loved for who they are and to be accepted for who they are,” he said. “I feel like it’s still very modern and very applicable to the way we’re living today, and I think that history has proven Larry Kramer to be right.”


Filed under: The Normal Heart

Thanks to my friend Claudia I have added 32 High Quality Photos of Mark during the HBO Winter 2014 TCA Panel yesterday. Mark (Co-Executive Producer/Actor), director/Executive Producer Ryan Murphy, Julia Roberts, Jim Parsons, Matt Bomer and Taylor Kitsch were there to present “The Normal Heart”.

Filed under: Gallery, The Normal Heart

It has just been announced during the TCA 2014 that The Normal Heart will Premiere in May on HBO!

Filed under: The Normal Heart

Hundreds of reporters — and the producers and stars looking to court them — will descend on Pasadena this week for the Television Critics Association’s winter press tour.

The two-week tour, which runs Jan. 9-23, will offer wall-to-wall panels featuring midseason wares from both broadcast and cable.

4. HBO’s The Normal Heart. Part of HBO’s impressive lineup that also includes Girls and gay-themed Jonathan Groff comedy Looking, Glee and American Horror Story boss Ryan Murphy will share the TCA stage with stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch and Julia Roberts to preview his adaptation of Larry Kramer’s Tony-winning play of the same name. Murphy is famous for dropping nuggets of news and journalists will be hoping Thursday is no different. (HBO/Jan. 9)


Filed under: The Normal Heart

First update of 2014! Happy New Year everyone! I have added photos of Mark at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards Ceremony last night. Thanks to my friend Annika for donating 4 photos!

Also, today is the DVD/Blu-ray release of Thank for Sharing. Don’t forget to order your copy!

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