Since The Normal Heart debuted on the New York stage in 1985, hopes for a film adaptation have been rumored and dashed (most notably with Barbra Streisand at the helm). Now, thanks in part to the megawatt draw of Julia Roberts, who signed on to play doctor Emma Brookner, an HBO version is in the works for a 2014 release. Ryan Murphy (Glee, American Horror Story, Nip/Tuck) will direct, with a script by Larry Kramer, who penned the original semiautobiographical story about a group of advocates in the early days of the epidemic. A 2011 Broadway version won a Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. Also slated for the HBO vehicle: Mark Ruffalo (The Avengers), Matt Bomer (White Collar), Jim Parsons (The Big Bang Theory) and Taylor Kitsch (Friday Night Lights). Sounds like it’ll be worth the 29-year wait.

The Normal Heart