Ever since word came out around this time last year that Michael Douglas had managed his cancer ordeal with (relative) success, it’s been the plan that he and Steven Soderbourgh would soon collaborate on a film about Liberace. Well that plan is moving forward, with one little twist… it will find a home not in theaters but on HBO.
An announcement from the studio and the filmmakers today has announced that Matt Damon and Michael Douglas will star together in Soderbergh’s Behind the Candelabra, and that the film will air on the premium cable station home to cinematic television like The Wire, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, and Mildred Pearce.
“This is a story that’s going to surprise a lot of people,” said Amato [HBO Films president]. “It’s funny, heartbreaking and always fascinating, and we are delighted that Jerry and Steven brought the film to HBO. With Steven at the helm, directing such accomplished actors as Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, this is a dream project for us.
If you’re not familiar, Matt Damon will be playing Scott Thorson, a truly eccentric individual that had a long-term romantic relationship with Liberace. Ultimately their relationship went down in litigious flames due to drugs and infidelity, and they didn’t reconcile until shortly before Liberace’s death. Since then Thorson wrote a memoir about their relationship (from which the movie takes its title), was involved in drug/robbery charges, and ultimately settled down with a wife. Oh, and he also helped put a gangster in jail and was shot five times back in the 90s…
On a random note: I’m curious how the script will shake out the age difference between the two actors? Heavy make-up on Douglas and play it straight?
In any event, the project will start rolling next summer, with shoots planned all over the place: Vegas, LA, and Palm Springs included. Now, some HBO films have made it into theaters (and I’ve definitely spotted some in film festivals), but I’m not sure what the exact plan is for this one. It’s safe to say that you might want to start saving up for your 2013 HBO subscription if you’re interested though.