Although Larry Kramer basks in the success of the hugely successful, Tony Award-winning revival of his “The Normal Heart,” he’s moving on to other projects, including finishing an epic novel, writing a Broadway musical (“Where everyone is gay and sings love songs to each other,” he says) and revising “The Destiny of Me,” the sequel to “The Normal Heart.”
He’s also working on the screenplay for “The Normal Heart,” a film project that started in 1986 when Barbra Streisand optioned the rights. After decades of tussling with Kramer over the script, Streisand dropped the property, which was then picked up by Ryan Murphy of “Glee” and “American Horror Story” fame.
“I would have loved to make the movie with Barbra,” Kramer says, “especially in 1986 when she first bought it. But she could never tell me what she didn’t like or what she wanted or what she thought was wrong. I felt helpless, and I know she did, too. I know her heart is very much in the right place, and she loves this play a lot. I’m sorry it wasn’t meant to be.”
Earlier this summer, Kramer and Streisand took their differences public through various statements. In hers, Streisand said, in part: “I think it’s unfair to keep blaming me for the movie not getting made. I worked on it for 25 years, without pay. Larry had the rights for the last 15 years, and he couldn’t get it made either. Those are the facts, and none of this is news to Larry. … I will always believe in Larry’s play and its powerful theme about everyone’s right to love.”
Kramer says he thinks Streisand would have had trouble depicting gay sex in the movie. “It’s not something she understands,” he says. “What she responded to was all the wrong the play represented in our country and in our society that allowed these things to happen. She liked all the anger. But it’s also a love story.”
Kramer’s says he’s in love with Murphy now, but their first encounter did not go well.
“We got into a big fight because I said something he misunderstood,” Kramer says. “We’ve both got short fuses. But we figured it out, and working with him has been a dream. He’s a brilliant editor, and unlike Barbra, he is able to tell me what he wants.”