Today brings some exciting casting news: Ruth Wilson is attached to star in The Book of Ruth, a biographical movie about AIDS activist and caregiver Ruth Coker Burks.
It sounds like a terrific role for the Luther actress because Coker Burks’ story is genuinely touching and inspiring. A devout Christian from Hot Springs, Arkansas, she devoted herself to caring for AIDS sufferers who had been abandoned by their families when the disease was shrouded in ignorance and prejudice in the ’80s. She’s said to have cared for more than 1,000 sufferers and buried more than 40 victims in her family cemetery.
Set in 1983, the film will be directed by Tony-nominated theater director Michael Arden in his feature film debut. Matt Bomer is attached to co-star as Coker Burks’ new neighbor, a gay man who has moved to Arkansas from New York after losing his partner to AIDS, which encourages her to learn more about the epidemic.
“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 told 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.”
He added: “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.”
The Book of Ruth will be Wilson’s first film role since 2018. Since then, she’s appeared on Broadway in King Lear, earning a Tony nomination, and on TV in Mrs. Wilson, His Dark Materials, and of course Luther. Check out our feature on why we can’t get enough of the Alice Morgan actress here.
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