As The Normal Heart makes its Broadway bow and a film version is readied, Larry Kramer and Barbra Streisand are still trading barbs over her never-realized film adaptation of the work.
Streisand bought the film rights to Kramer’s semiautobiographical play about the early days of the AIDS epidemic after seeing its initial off-Broadway production in 1985. She intended to direct and act in the film version, but it never materialized, and the rights reverted to Kramer in the mid 1990s.
Each blames the other, according to a new report by Entertainment Weekly, in which Streisand calls Kramer “brilliant, courageous, stubborn, and self-destructive” and he says Steisand “never put her money where her mouth is.” She says he resisted changes to his work to make it more cinematic, and he says she wanted to make the character she planned to play, Dr. Emma Brookner, the protagonist of the film, marginalizing the gay characters.
Despite the lack of a Streisand film, The Normal Heart has endured. The first Broadway production of the play opened in April to rave reviews, and it has received several Tony nominations. Glee creator Ryan Murphy is set to direct a film version starring Mark Ruffalo as Ned Weeks, the activist character based on Kramer.
Read the full EW story here.