Jim Parsons joins <strong><em>The Normal Heart</em></strong>
Director Ryan Murphy has acquired a quartet of fine actors for his upcoming AIDS drama The Normal Heart. Joining previously cast Mark Ruffalo are Julia Roberts, Alec Baldwin, Matthew Bomer, and Jim Parsons.

Larry Kramer is writing this adaptation of the Tony Award winning drama, with Brad Pitt on as a producer. The story follows the rise of AIDS in New York's gay community in the early-to-mid 80s. The play first debut Off-Broadway in 1985, and has enjoyed several revivals in Los Angeles and London.

While Mark Ruffalo is taking on the lead role of Ned Weeks, one of the first to raise an alarm about the new disease known as "Gay Cancer", Julia Roberts will play Emma Brookner, a wheelchair bound doctor who is the only one of her peers in New York taking AIDS seriously. Alec Baldwin is set to play Weeks' brother, a lawyer struggling to come to terms with Ned's sexuality.

Matthew Bomer is playing Felix Turner, a gay fashion journalist, while Jim Parsons will reprise his stage role as a gay activist who forms a health crisis group.

The Normal Heart will shoot later this year.