Brad Pitt's Plan B On Board For Ryan Murphy's 'The Normal Heart' With Mark Ruffalo

by Simon Dang
September 1, 2011 1:33 AM
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Looks like Ryan Murphy's planned adaptation of Larry Kramer's semi-autobiographical play "The Normal Heart" is getting some big-name backing with Brad Pitt and his Plan B Entertainment shingle now coming on board to produce.

The project is one that Murphy has been developing passionately in recent times with his plans first unveiled when Mark Ruffalo revealed last year he was set to team with the "Glee" creator for the film. Murphy might even have another big name up his sleeve as well -- last month, he expressed a desire to cast the centerpiece star of his last directorial effort, "Eat Pray Love," in his latest venture. "'The Normal Heart' is the thing that I’m going to do next," the helmer told Deadline. "I optioned it and there’s a brilliant script that Larry Kramer wrote and I’m going to do that with Mark Ruffalo and maybe Julia Roberts. I believe in that play."

The story centers on an activist and his attempts to raise HIV/AIDS awareness during the 1980s with the Kramer play having seen several acclaimed iterations on Broadway over the years; the latest of which stars Ellen Barkin, Patrick Breen, Mark Harelik, John Benjamin Bickley, Lee Pace and Jim Parsons, among others. You could probably presume Ruffalo and Roberts (who's got another rom-com planned with Murphy) would take the leading male and female roles of Ned Weeks and Emma Brookner, respectively. Here's the play's synopsis:

The story of a city in denial, THE NORMAL HEART unfolds like a real-life political thriller—as a tight-knit group of friends refuses to let doctors, politicians and the press bury the truth of an unspoken epidemic behind a wall of silence. A quarter-century after it was written, this outrageous, unflinching, and totally unforgettable look at the sexual politics of New York during the AIDS crisis remains one of the theatre’s most powerful evenings ever. It won the 2011 Tony Award® for Best Revival of a Play.

No word on when production could get underway but with Murphy talking things up regularly recently, we hope this one is on the horizon.

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