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HBO Planning Sequel To 'The Normal Heart' & Inks Deal With Darren Aronofsky

The Playlist By Ben Brock | The Playlist January 14, 2014 at 9:41AM

This time last year we were all writing articles about the impending death of cinema at the hands of TV, with modern masters like Steven Soderbergh running off to HBO and the like to make “adventurous” work like “Behind the Candelabra” (which did well at the Golden Globes last night) that film producers apparently wouldn't touch (Soderbergh had previously said major studios considered the material "too gay"). Then 2013 happened, a bunch of great movies came out (including “Dallas Buyers Club,” which also did well last night and which kind of spiked the argument that movie studios wouldn't touch the gay stuff) and everyone calmed down.
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The Normal Heart Mark Ruffalo Taylor Kitsch

This time last year we were all writing articles about the impending death of cinema at the hands of TV, with modern masters like Steven Soderbergh running off to HBO and the like to make “adventurous” work like “Behind the Candelabra” (which did well at the Golden Globes last night) that film producers apparently wouldn't touch (Soderbergh had previously said major studios considered the material "too gay"). And while the debate will undoubtedly continue about big studios playing it safe versus cable companies taking risks, HBO is plowing ahead with their continued creative output.

And so via Deadline, there's two pieces of news: one, that Darren Aronofksy is going into business with HBO to develop as-yet unknown TV projects, and two, that HBO have commissioned a sequel to their forthcoming film of Larry Kramer's AIDS drama “The Normal Heart”. If we're honest, neither piece of news is wildly surprising. Aronofsky also announced at the same time that he'll also be working in future with film production company New Regency (who recently announced that Brad Pitt would be doing his producing work with them for the next three years), so it's not like he's abandoning the movies or anything (his “Noah” is coming in March, though who even knows what it'll be like). And Aronofsky isn't a stranger at HBO, having worked briefly on the developing "Hobgoblin" before HBO passed on it.

As for “The Normal Heart," it'll probably be pretty damn good, if it's a decent version of the play. The purported sequel, also written by Kramer would advance the story from the early 80s, when the AIDS outbreak was barely understood even as it tore through gay communities, to the latter part of the decade, when medicine began to get a grip of sorts on the virus. “The Normal Heart” will also premiere in May, is directed by Ryan Murphy (“Glee”), and stars Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Jim Parsons and Julia Roberts. You know, the movie stars. Hey, what if TV and films aren't actually enemies, and the rise of one doesn't mean the fall of the other? It's a brave new world, you guys.

This article is related to: Television, TV News, HBO , The Normal Heart, Darren Aronofsky