HBO's THE NORMAL HEART to Start Filming in June 2013
The cast officially includes Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner, Matt Bomer as Felix Turner, Jim Parsons as Tommy Boatwright, Taylor Kitsch as Bruce Niles, Joe Mantello as Mickey Marcus, Jonathan Groff as Craig, Bruce Niles' first lover. No actor has yet been announced for Ben Weeks, but we're told that an offer is out. Casting is underway for other parts as well.
Executive produced by Murphy, Jason Blum (the "Paranormal Activity" series, "The Reader"), Dede Gardner ("The Tree of Life," "Eat Pray Love") and Dante di Loreto ("Glee," HBO's "Temple Grandin"), THE NORMAL HEART tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation's sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical Community fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city in denial.
In 1981, writer Larry Kramer hosted a gathering of six gay men and their friends to discuss the "gay cancer," and to talk about fundraising for research. This informal meeting in Kramer's home would lead to the formation of Gay Men's Health Crisis, one of the first advocacy groups for HIV prevention and care.
Kramer's play debuted at New York's Public Theatre in 1985 and was revived in Los Angeles and London and off-Broadway. The 2011 Broadway revival garnered five Tony nominations, winning for Best Revival, Best Featured Actor and Best Featured Actress.
Besides SPRING AWAKENING and GLEE, Groff also appeared in the Shakespeare in the Park productions of HAIR and THE BACCHAE, the off-Broadway plays THE SINGING FOREST and A PRAYER FOR MY ENEMY. Other credits include GLEE, Ang Lee's TAKING WOODSTOCK, and most recently, in the Starz series BOSS, alongside Kelsey Grammer.
Photo Credit: Walter McBride