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Jim Parsons, Taylor Kitsch Join HBO’s Ryan Murphy-Directed Movie ‘The Normal Heart’

EXCLUSIVE: The Big Bang Theory star Jim Parsons and Friday Night Lights alum Taylor Kitsch will co-star opposite Julia Roberts, Mark Ruffalo and Matt Bomer in The Normal Heart, HBO‘s original movie adaptation of the Tony-winning Larry Kramer play, which is being written by Kramer and directed by Ryan Murphy. The project tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s. Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. He was previously attached to Murphy’s adaptation when it was eyed as a theatrical feature. Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Roberts plays physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS. Ruffalo plays Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand the mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover. Murphy executive produces with Jason Blum, Dede Gardner and Dante Di Loreto. Production is slated to begin later this year in New York for a 2014 debut.