Mark Ruffalo is a big name on the big screen thanks to his role as Bruce Banner/Hulk in a number of Marvel films, starting with The Avengers back in 2012. Now, Ruffalo has signed on for a very different project that will require very different performances. He's slated to play a pair of twins in a new HBO series.
HBO has given a straight-to-series order for I Know This Much Is True, which will be a drama. It will also be a limited series, so viewers sadly can't count of Mark Ruffalo tackling dual TV roles indefinitely. Still, the six episodes of the upcoming series promise to deliver a side of Ruffalo that we haven't really seen before. Sure, the guy can play both Bruce Banner and the Hulk (with some slightly hilarious difficulties) to perfection by this point, but tackling twins in an intriguing drama is something new.
In I Know This Much Is True, Mark Ruffalo will play a pair of twin brothers by the names of Dominick and Thomas Birdsey. The show will follow their parallel lives, and THR reports that the story will be epic, with themes of betrayal, sacrifice, and forgiveness throughout. It will be set in 20th century America. The brothers -- who are obviously identical twins -- won't lead carbon copies of the same life, so the show should deliver double doses of Ruffalo in the best way.
In a way, I Know This Much Is True will actually be a triple dose of Mark Ruffalo, but not because he's playing a third role. Ruffalo is slated to executive produce as well as star in the limited series, which is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Wally Lamb. Although Lamb will not pen the story for the show, he is attached as an executive producer.
Derek Cianfrance, who has written projects like The Light Between Oceans and Blue Valentine, is attached as the writer. He'll direct and executive produce as well. There's a talented team behind the scenes, and hopefully they will produce a talented group of actors for in front of the camera to support Mark Ruffalo.
This new series marks a big move to television for Mark Ruffalo. The closest he's come to a regular role on a TV show happened back in 2000, when he played a character on a UPN series called The Beat, which lasted for only eight episodes and few people probably remember. His most recent TV appearance was a hit, however, and it was also at HBO.
Mark Ruffalo starred in the HBO film by the title of The Normal Heart, which was based on the play of the same name. It was a hit with critics and scored Ruffalo nominations at the Emmys and the Golden Globes, although he didn't take home a trophy.
If I Know This Much Is True is another critical hit, perhaps he'll have another shot at the TV awards circuit. We'll have to wait and see. He's not the first actor to tackle two roles on one show, and it should be interesting to see how he handles it. Hopefully he won't "handle it" by dropping tons of spoilers! At least the Russo brothers probably won't care if he gives away the game for a non-Marvel project.
We may have a while to wait before Mark Ruffalo returns to the small screen for I Know This Much Is True. Fortunately, there are plenty of viewing options now and in the not-too-distant future for what you can watch on TV.
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Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).