The Normal Heart trailer

With each new breakthrough, HIV/AIDS becomes more treatable. But it wasn’t so long ago that the disease was completely new and utterly terrifying. In the first full-length The Normal Heart trailer, Mark Ruffalo plays an activist who witnesses the start of the AIDS crisis in the early ’80s. He’s so outraged by the public’s clueless, callous response that he decides to do something about it.

Julia Roberts plays a doctor who treats many of the disease’s first victims, Matt Bomer plays Ruffalo’s journalist boyfriend, and Taylor Kitsch and Jim Parsons play other activists who get wrapped up in the cause. Watch the new The Normal Heart trailer after the jump.

HBO posted the trailer on YouTube.

One of the criticisms frequently raised against Dallas Buyers Club was that it focused on a straight protagonist when, in fact, most of the disease’s earliest victims were gay men. So it’s nice to see The Normal Heart cover similar ground from a gay perspective. Even better, it’s nearly a first-hand account. Ryan Murphy‘s HBO film is an adaptation of the acclaimed play by Larry Kramer, who based it on his own experiences as an AIDS activist in the ’80s.

The Normal Heart will premiere May 25 on HBO.

Academy Award® nominee Mark Ruffalo, Matt Bomer, Taylor Kitsch, Emmy® winner Jim Parsons and Academy Award® winner Julia Roberts star in THE NORMAL HEART. Directed by Emmy® winner Ryan Murphy and written by Academy Award® nominee Larry Kramer, adapting his groundbreaking Tony Award-winning play of the same name, the drama tells the story of the onset of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fight to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city and nation in denial. THE NORMAL HEART will debut on HBO on May 25 at 9 p.m.

Ruffalo portrays Ned Weeks, who witnesses first-hand a mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers. Matt Bomer plays Felix Turner, a reporter who becomes Ned’s lover. Taylor Kitsch plays Bruce Niles, a closeted investment banker who becomes a prominent AIDS activist. Jim Parsons plays gay activist Tommy Boatwright, reprising his role from the 2011 Broadway revival. Roberts plays physician Dr. Emma Brookner, a survivor of childhood polio who treats several of the earliest victims of HIV-AIDS.

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