Sweeping Culture Daily

SPOTLIGHT: Sweeping Culture Daily

In Five: David Bowie’s New Album, “The Normal Heart” Goes to HBO, and More Culture News

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1. David Bowie is set to release his first album in nearly a decade. “The Next Day,” which comes out on March 12, is produced by longtime Bowie collaborator Tony Visconti and written by Bowie in New York, according to the record label. Below, you can watch the video for the first single, “Where Are We Now?” Directed by Tony Oursler, the lo-fi clip features a mini-Bowie standing in front of a computer screen singing the ballad. Also: Bowie turns 66 today! [Pitchfork]

2. Ryan Murphy’s adaptation of Larry Kramer’s play “The Normal Heart,” starring Mark Ruffalo and Julia Roberts, has been picked up by HBO for a 2014 release. The story is set “in the midst of the HIV-AIDS crisis in New York City in the early 1980s, taking an unflinching look at the nation’s sexual politics as gay activists and their allies in the medical community fought to expose the truth about the burgeoning epidemic to a city in denial.” Ruffalo will play Ned Weeks, “who witnesses first-hand the mysterious disease that has begun to claim the lives of many in his gay community and starts to seek answers,” while Roberts will play Dr. Emma Brookner, “the paraplegic physician who treats several of the earliest victims of the disease.” [Indiewire]

3. Anna Faris is set to star in a new sitcom from “Two and a Half Men” and “Big Bang Theory” creator Chuck Lorre. “Mom,” as the show is currently titled, will “center on a newly sober mother who faces new challenges while attempting to start fresh in Napa Valley,” and already has a pilot order from CBS. This will be the first leading role on television for Faris, the star of the “Scary Movie” franchise and Gregg Araki’s bizarre stoner comedy “Smiley Face.” [Deadline]

4. Director Mark Romanek, known for his moody music videos and dark-themed films, has departed Disney’s live-action “Cinderella” remake, which he was set to direct. Cate Blanchett is attached to the film, a “reimagining of the classic fairy tale,” with a script by Chris Weitz (“About a Boy”). Disney, in a statement, said they are currently looking for a new director, but gave no reason for the split. [Hollywood Reporter]

5. Maura Tierney and Courtney B. Vance have joined the Broadway cast of “Lucky Guy,” starring Tom Hanks. The play, written by Nora Ephron before her death, centers on the late Daily News columnist Mike McAlary, to be played by Hanks. Tierney will make her Broadway debut, while Vance will be returning to the stage for the first time since his appearance in the original production of “Six Degrees of Separation,” in 1990. Also of note: The play will reunite the “Bosom Buddies,” with Peter Scolari taking the role of columnist Michael Daly. [Playbill]

Previously: M.I.A, NBC, “Texas Chainsaw 3D,” Oscars, “Only God Forgives.”

Image: David Bowie/Ralph Gatti/Getty Images

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