HBO plans to bring another dramatic masterpiece to life on film — The Normal Heart – with stars Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo. Originally written as a play set between 1981 and 1984, the story centers around a writer named Ned Weeks as he nurses his lover who is dying of an unnamed disease, while the doctors puzzled and frustrated by having no resources to research it. The play is considered a literary landmark and has been produced over 600 times in the U.S., Europe (where it was televised in Poland), Israel, and South Africa.
After 30 years, the play is headed to the silver screen. HBO films is currently producing the film as well as a potential sequel. The sequel would chronicle the events from 1987 through the 1990s. The film stars Roberts as Emma Brookner, a polio-stricken physician who treated several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS and Ruffalo as the lead character Ned Weeks. The project is being directed by American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy.