Glee Creator Ryan Murphy Will Direct Mark Ruffalo In 'The Normal Heart'

It's an interesting year for Mark Ruffalo. His directorial debut Sympathy For Delicious didn't light up the festival circuit, but he's getting great notes for his work in The Kids Are Alright. And he's got to deal with Kevin Feige, who named him as the new Hulk for The Avengers. But he's also got some smaller stuff coming up.

For instance, there's the adaptation of Larry Kramer's partially autobiographical play The Normal Heart, about the early days of the AIDS crisis in New York. Ruffalo will play central activist Ned Weeks, a founder of an HIV advocacy group. And now there's confirmation that he'll be directed by Ryan Murphy, creator of Glee and director of Running With Scissors and this week's Eat Pray Love.

Ruffalo mentioned Murphy's involvement not long ago, but his exact role was uncertain. Murphy just told MTV,

I'm directing [The Normal Heart] from Larry Kramer's beautiful script and we're going to shoot that in June of next year...I think it's an important story and I think Mark Ruffalo is just beyond brilliant so I'm very excited to be directing him.

Mark Ruffalo previously described the story and its appeal in another interview with MTV,

It's basically a story of when the AIDS outbreak happened in New York...It wasn't really taken seriously, I think specifically because it was 'the gay cancer,' they called it. I think it's a really interesting time in America. I think to see someone who really does change the world by his commitment and he's even totally by himself at times, there's still a real power in that. I love that it's a people-powered movement that actually changed the way our government looked at this epidemic. I think there's a real powerful message to that and something that we forget. We can get really cynical about what we can do, it gets stacked against us and they're all corrupt — and at the end of the day, everything starts with people. The reason they're there is because of us. "