Michael Douglas has signed to star in a biopic about Liberace! And boy, can I see it. At first I couldn’t, but then I put that little photo of Liberace (inset) on top of a photo of Michael Douglas (outset), and then I was like, Oh. A spray tan and a wig, and Douglas is totally ready for Vegas.
Details are sparse so far, but we do know the Steven Soderbergh-directed flick will be based on Scott Thorson’s salacious, tabloidy 1988 tell-all, Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace. And co-starring as jilted lover Scott Thorson? That would be Matt Damon! (Which sure brings new meaning to… well, never mind.)
Liberace—the pianist and showman whose campy opulence overshadowed his technical ability—fought rumors of homosexuality right up until his death in 1987. For five years Scott Thorson had been employed as Liberace’s personal bodyguard and driver, though if Thorson is to be believed, he was so much more. After the couple’s alleged (and tempestuous) breakup in 1982, Thorson famously filed a $113 million “palimony” lawsuit. They settled out of court.
The subject matter seems a little weird for a Soderbergh movie, but I have faith. Soderbergh has been working on this project for four years, and shopping it for two; HBO was evidently the only taker.