Joe Mantello joins Ryan Murphy's 'The Normal Heart' movie

Joe Mantello, who was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Ned Weeks in the 2011 Broadway production of "The Normal Heart,” has signed on for a different role in Ryan Murphy’s film adaptation.

Mantello will play Mickey Marcus in the on-screen incarnation of Larry Kramer's autobiographical drama about the early days of the AIDS epidemic in New York City. The previously announced Mark Ruffalo will star as activist Weeks.

Emmy-winner Murphy (“Glee”) will direct the “Normal Heart” film, which Kramer adapted from his 1985 landmark play. Production is slated to start in New York this summer, with a 2014 premiere planned on HBO.

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Mantello joins a cast that includes stars of stage and screen, including Oscar-winner Julia Roberts as Dr. Emma Brookner, Matt Bomer (“White Collar”) as Felix Turner and Jim Parsons (“The Big Bang Theory”) reprising his role as Tommy Boatwright from the Broadway revival.

The big-screen debut of “The Normal Heart” has been a long time coming.

Barbra Streisand in the 1980s signed on to direct the drama, but the project stalled following years of attempts at rewrites and financing.


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