Matt Damon and Michael Douglas' Liberace biopic is a go for HBO
Matt Damon and Michael Douglas can finally heat up those BeDazzlers: "Behind the Candelabra," their Liberace biopic, has found a home on HBO.
The film, which to this point has been traveling under the working title "Liberace," is a look at the famed pianist's relationship with his younger live-in lover at a time when coming out could kill a career. It is scheduled to start shooting next summer under the direction of Steven Soderbergh.
"I wanted people to see the other side of Liberace," Jerry Weintraub told Show Tracker. "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"
Old Hollywood figure Weintraub will produce for HBO, which in March aired "His Way," a documentary about Weintraub.
Douglas will don the jeweled capes of Liberace while Damon plays his partner, Scott Thorson.
"I’ve wanted to make a film about Liberace for a very long time, and after the amazing experience I had with HBO on 'His Way,' I knew that they were absolutely the right place for this movie," Weintraub said.
The project has been gestating since 2009, and its male leads are more than happy to get lip-locking in the portrayal of the flamboyant performer, known for his over-the-top costumes and accessories and, later in life, several business ventures including cookbooks and antique shops.
"Candelabra" will get into the darker, off-stage side of Liberace's life. And few introductions will be needed: Damon most recently appeared in the Soderbergh disease thriller "Contagion," while Douglas was cast in his 2000 film "Traffic," which earned four Oscars, including one for best director.
— Matt Donnelly
Photo: Matt Damon and Michael Douglas at the New York premiere of "Contagion" on Sept. 7. Credit: Dave Allocca / Starpix