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Upcoming 'The Book of Ruth' AIDS Drama, What We Know So Far

Gettyimages | Jeff Kravitz
By Stephanie Elmir

It's official, "The Book of Ruth" is set to film this year, an AIDS activism drama following an Arkansas divorcee as she encounters the reality of the disease through a neighbor who lived in the thick of it in New York City.

Set in 1983, the film will follow the woman's journey to activism for the LGBTQ+ community, something far-fetched in her devoutly Christian surroundings. It's sure to be exciting to watch, and we'll go over what else is known of the production.

Ruth Wilson and Matt Bomer

Gettyimages | Nicholas Hunt

Ruth Wilson and Matt Bomer are set to star in the film, her as the title character, Ruth Coker Burks, and him as the new neighbor that moved from NYC.

Wilson has previously starred in "The Affair" and "Luther", both showcasing troubled or maniacal characters. This will be a change for her, allowing her range to impress with an empathetic role.

Bomer has starred in the "Magic Mike" franchise and "White Collar", mostly portraying charming characters with haunting pasts that catch up.


Gettyimages | Walter McBride

Set to direct the film is Michael Arden, has already two Tony Award nominations for his work on the "Spring Awakening" revival on Broadway. An incredibly young director with mostly acting credits, his new and fresh take on the AIDS epidemic is sure to be impactful.

As a gay man, Arden has stated how honored he is to take on the project and honor the memory of Burks, who remained empathetic in the face of adversity and discrimination against the LGBTQ+ community.



The script was written by Rebecca Pollock and Kas Graham, who already have another joint script on The Blacklist which was soon after optioned by Ryan Murphy with Sarah Paulson prepped to star in it.

Much like their other script "Betty Ford" it's a biopic, but unlike it, "The Book of Ruth" will focus on a non-celebrity, one of the forgotten activists of the AIDS epidemic. Most activists were affected by the disease and did not live to tell their stories.

Other Details

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On top of being an LGBTQ+ plus centered film, it's a female lead film as well, bringing much-needed representation onto the big screen. The producing team is currently looking for buyers and investors to start filming soon.

Although set in 1983, the film brings up the question of taking sides and standing up for an oppressed minority group. In today's political climate, everyone seems pressured to polarize their views or to even suppress their empathy towards people who are different. The film's commentary seems fitting for present situations.

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