Ryan Murphy Calls THE NORMAL HEART 'Modern', Emphasizes Project as 'Love Story'
The Hollywood Reporter writes that Ryan Murphy and the cast of HBO's upcoming TV movie adaptation of THE NORMAL HEART gathered tonight, January 9, to preview the film. The movie is based on Larry Kramer's Tony-winning play about the '80s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Throughout the event, director Murphy discussed adding new material and his perspective on what he considers a passion project.
"This is similar to the play and very different. I worked with Larry on the script for three years; we broke it out to 40- to 45 percent new matieral and it's pretty broken out from the play," Murphy said.
Commenting on the timeliness of the story, Murphy said: "Larry wrote that play with the idea that silence does equal death. When people were writing about it, there were no solutions. It ends in '84 but what it's about feels modern to me with gay marriage in the news and people fighting to be loved and accepted for who they are. It's still very modern and very applicable to the way we're living today."
He continued: "We're looking at an epidemic as seen through a love story."
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Academy Award nominee Mark Ruffalo ("The Kids Are All Right"), Matt Bomer ("White Collar"), Taylor Kitsch ("Lone Survivor"), Emmy(R) winner Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") and Academy Award winner Julia Roberts star in the film, HBO Films' presentation of THE NORMAL HEART.
Directed by Emmy winner Ryan Murphy ("Eat Pray Love," "Glee") and written by Academy Award nominee Larry Kramer ("Women in Love"), adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, the drama 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 fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. THE NORMAL HEART will debut exclusively on HBO in May.
The film also stars Alfred Molina ("An Education"), Tony Award winner Joe Mantello ("Law & Order"), Jonathan Groff (HBO's "Looking"), Denis O'Hare (HBO's "True Blood"), Stephen Spinella ("Milk"), Corey Stoll ("House of Cards"), Finn Wittrock ("Unbroken") and BD Wong (HBO's "Oz"). An HBO Films presentation of a Plan B and Blumhouse production in association with Ryan Murphy Productions, THE NORMAL HEART is executive produced by Ryan Murphy, Dante di Loreto ("Glee"), Jason Blum (the "Paranormal Activity" series), Brad Pitt ("Moneyball"), Dede Gardner ("12 Years a Slave"). Mark Ruffalo co-executive produces; Scott Ferguson (HBO's "Temple Grandin") produces.