HBO's Ryan Murphy produced telefilm 'The Normal Heart' doesn't even premiere until May, but Deadline reports that a sequel to the project is already in development.
Based on the Tony Award-winning play by Larry Kramer, 'The Normal Heart' is set at the beginning of the New York City AIDS epidemic in the early 1980s. Mark Ruffalo stars as gay activist Ned Weeks, who witnesses the rise of the illness first hand, and then makes it his mission to raise awareness and try to help those afflicted. Ned is based on Kramer's real-life experiences during the outbreak.
Julia Roberts plays female lead Emma Brookner, a wheelchair-bound doctor that sets out to promote gay abstinence until more can be learned about what causes the sickness and allows it to spread. 'The Big Bang Theory's Jim Parsons will portray the supporting character of gay activist Tommy Boatwright, a role he also played in a 2011 revival of the play.
The planned sequel is expected to continue on the same path, following the characters and the progression of the deadly disease from the late '80s through the 1990s. Ruffalo, Roberts, and Parsons are all expected to return, as are Kramer, Murphy, and the rest of the principal production team.
As mentioned above, the first 'Normal Heart' movie premieres on HBO in May. Additional cast members include Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Alfred Molina, Jonathan Groff, and Joe Mantello The sequel is still in the initial scriptwriting phase.