Michael Douglas can dust off his rhinestone hot pants as he will finally play pianist Liberace opposite Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson in the long gestating film bio that will now be produced for HBO, reports Los Angeles Times.
The film will be adapted from Thorson's memoir Behind the Candelabra with Steven Soderbergh directing. Producer Jerry Weintraub says of the late entertainer,"He sure lived life to the fulles. He was outrageous and the rings on all his fingers were only half of it."
Liberace rose to fame as a flamboyant entertainer in the 1950s. The film will focus on his relationship with his much younger lover. Liberace died of AIDS-related illness in 1987.
"I wanted people to see the other side of Liberace," Weintraub says. "I knew Liberace when I was kid. He entertained me a lot, we had a lot of good times together. He was a fun guy and a brilliant artist. He was Elton John and Lady Gaga before they even dreamed of it. But he had two sides to his life -- the dark side, which he couldn't talk about in those days because coming out of the closet could kill a career, and then he was this bigger-than-life artist onstage. He was living in two polar-opposite worlds. And I wanted to show that dynamic."
The film, scheduled to begin production next summer, will mark Soderbergh's second consecutive bid, however unintentionally, to curry favor with gay audiences. He's currently filming Magic Mike, the much anticipated comedy based on actor Channing Tatum's days as a stripper and costarring many of Hollywood's hottest young leading men, including Alex Petyfer, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Matthew McConaughey, and Tatum himself.
The Liberace film will air on HBO in North America, but the cable giant plans to sell the movie to theatrical distributors overseas via film festivals.