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Ruth Wilson And Matt Bomer Set To Lead AIDS Drama ‘The Book Of Ruth’

BY Stephanie Larson

Published 3 years ago

Ruth Wilson And Matt Bomer Set To Lead AIDS Drama 'The Book Of Ruth'

The Affair star Ruth Wilson and Magic Mike star Matt Bomer are teaming up to lead The Book of Ruth, a feature based on the true story of Ruth Coker Burks, an AIDS champion and caregiver in 1980s America.

Two time Tony Award theater director nominee Michael Arden is set to helm the project as his big-screen debut. He will be working with the screenplay from Rebecca Pollock and Kas Graham.

The film is set in 1983 where Burks (Wilson), a single mother from Arkansas and a devout Christian, lives with her 6-year-old daughter Jessica. When a handsome new neighbor (Bomer) turns out to be a gay New Yorker who has fled the city and returned home after the death of his partner to AIDS, she decides to educate herself on the epidemic sweeping the country. The Book of Ruth will feature how she came to help and support them in the face of her time’s prejudice and challenges.

“It’s a great honor and privilege to tell this important story about the responsibility one human has to another, especially in a time of crisis,” Arden said according to Deadline. “As a gay man, I feel that Ruth’s story of empathy in the face of great prejudice and adversary is one so needed in our modern time.”

“It is vital for us to remember that we lost an entire generation to the AIDS epidemic and that so many people, including Ruth, sacrificed their own comfort, station, and livelihood to help those in need during this plague,” he added.

Arden received his first Tony Award nomination for Best Direction of a Musical for his work on the acclaimed Deaf West’s 2015 Broadway revival of Spring Awakening. The play featured a cast made up of a mix of both deaf and hearing actors. It was also simultaneously performed in American sign language. Arden received his second Tony Award nomination in the same category in 2017 for directing the first Broadway revival of the musical Once On This Island. In addition to his Best Direction nomination, the play garnered seven more nominations and was praised for its gender-fluid casting.

Wilson earned a Golden Globe award in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series for her role on The Affair. She also earned two Olivier awards for her work on A Streetcar Named Desire and Anna Christie. Wilson’s most recent projects include Luther and His Dark Materials. 

Bomer, on the other hand, earned a Golden Globe Award and a Critics Choice Award for his role in The Normal Heart. His most recent projects include Will & Grace, Doom Patrol, Titans, and The Sinner. 

Scott LaStaiti, Dominic Tighe and Thomas Daley are set to produce. And Cora Palfrey and Sarah Lebutsch will serve as executive producers. The Book of Ruth is set to start shooting this 2020.

Deadline first reported the news.

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