Tony Award winner Joe Mantello, who played Ned Weeks in the 2011 Broadway production of Larry Kramer's The Normal Heart, will take part in Ryan Murphy's film adaptation. Mantello received a Tony Award nomination for his performance as Ned Weeks. He will play Mickey Marcus in the film version of Kramer's acclaimed drama about the beginnings of the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York City. The piece is about a group of gay activists and their allies in the medical community who are fighting to expose the nation to the truths about the epidemic. Mantello will star alongside the previously announced Mark Ruffalo (Awake and Sing!), who will portray Ned Weeks.
Mantello currently directs Broadway's one-woman play, I'll Eat You Last: A Chat With Sue Mengers, starring Bette Midler. He has also directed The Other Place, Other Desert Cities, Dogfight, Assassins, Wicked, and Three Days of Rain, among others.
The Normal Heart film, directed by Emmy Award winner Ryan Murphy (Eat Pray Love, Glee), is scheduled to begin production in New York City during the summer of 2014, with a debut on HBO. Playwright Kramer has adapted his play for the upcoming film.
Additional cast includes Academy Award winner Julia Roberts (Eat Pray Love) as Dr. Emma Brookner, Matt Bomer (White Collar) as Felix Turner, Taylor Kitsch (John Carter) as AIDS activist Bruce Niles, and Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) reprising his role as Tommy Boatwright.