The Normal Heart is an adaptation of Larry Kramer’s semi-autobiographical play, which follows the rise of the AIDS epidemic in 1980’s New York. Ruffalo will play gay writer/activist Ned Weeks, who founds a HIV advocacy group. Ruffalo said that he was excited to take on such a “juicy part” and called Weeks a “fighter.” “To see someone who really does change the world by his commitment,” Ruffalo said, “there's still a real power in that. I love that it's a people-powered movement that actually changed the way our government looked at this epidemic.”
While a role like this screams "Oscar bait", this sounds like it could be a pretty good movie. The play it's based on is well-loved and critically acclaimed, and a look back at the start of the AIDS epidemic from a modern perspective could be fascinating. But they're going to have to make sure that Murphy tones down his melodramatic Glee sensibilities for the more realistic film.