Ryan Murphy, creator of such television shows as GLEE, American Horror Story, and The New Normal, has been hard at work on bringing the Tony-winning play THE NORMAL HEART to the big screen. It was announced back in January of 2012 that Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin and Jim Parsons would join Mark Ruffalo in the cast of the film, with a script by playwright Larry Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy who had optioned the play back in August of 2011 after it closed on Broadway. At the time, it was also reported that CAA was putting together the financing, and that it was to be produced by Brad Pitt’s ‘Plan B’ Production Company.
Now, a cable network insider tells BWW’s Rialto Chatter exclusively that the film will instead be an HBO television production, with a budget in the neighborhood of $15 million dollars. There is no word yet on a timeline for the project, or if the previously announced starry cast is staying aboard the project.
If true, this is a brilliant idea, as it is likely to give the film an even wider audience, and isn’t HBO’s first time doing a project of this kind, with their 2003 film of the Mike Nichols-directed ANGELS IN AMERICA (starring Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Patrick Wilson, Mary-Louise Parker, Emma Thompson, Justin Kirk, Jeffrey Wright and Ben Shenkman) being considered a large success for the network as the most-watched made-for-cable film in 2003, garnering critical acclaim and multiple Golden Globe and Emmy awards, among other numerous accolades.