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Michael Douglas Starring as Liberace for Steven Soderbergh

by
September 10, 2008

Michael Douglas Starring as Liberace for Steven Soderbergh

Although Oscar winning director Steven Soderbergh is still focused on making sure his Che double feature gets out in theaters properly, he's also working on early planning for another film. Soderbergh is set to direct a biopic about the gay pianist Liberace for Warner Brothers with a script written by Richard LaGravanese (The Horse Whisperer, Freedom Writers, P.S. I Love You). Actor Michael Douglas has already confirmed his involvement and will play Liberace, while Matt Damon is in discussions to play Scott Thorson, the man who sued Liberace in 1982 for $113 million in palimony, claiming he was the entertainer’s companion for five years. Interestingly, this isn't exactly Soderbergh's next project.

Liberace was a famously flamboyant entertainer and pianist that died in 1987 of complications from AIDS at age 67. Although Soderbergh is currently finishing up The Informant, this biopic isn't his next film. He's set to make The Girlfriend Experience, a low-budget indie about a call girl, as his next film and already has additional projects lined up afterwards, pushing this biopic further into the future. To be honest, I'm not that familiar with Liberace, but biopics on musicians seem to be one of the latest Hollywood trends, so why not? I usually enjoy all of Soderbergh's films and will even be keeping my eye on this one as well, even if it won't hit theaters for another three years. I've got to ask: was Liberace all that fascinating?

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  • Peloquin
    The only time I've ever heard someone discuss Lliberace was in reference to someone's poor clothing choices as an insult... What the hell's Douglas been up to lately anyways? Seems like we haven't seen/heard from him in forever.
  • shieatt
    Read liberaces wikipedia entry. he led a double life. He didnt want anyone to know he was gay because thats all people would have ever recognized him for. he was an incredible musician and one of the best showmans ever. In the post Brokeback world, i think this is a fascinating pic
  • I won't say he was Elvis, but Liberace was yuge back in his day. YUGE! But I don't think I'd have any interest in a movie about him. Or Elvis. Fuck Elvis.
  • I like Micheal Douglas but I don't see him in that role!
  • Caribconsult
    Well, I've heard that Liberace was a very gifted pianist, but you'd never know it from his performance. It was pure corn, designed to appeal to the "blue-haired ladies" set, who adored him and packed venues wherever he played. Theatrical gestures, grandly elaborate chandeliers on the piano, sequined costumes a lá Elvis/Vegas, etc. He played a mix of classical and standard pieces, but the style, to use a word from the Borsht Belt, was pure shmaltz. Try to imagine Leontyne Price singing an Aretha Franklin tune, or maybe an instrumental version of "Respect" by Guy Lombardo, and you'll get the idea. But in his way, that was what show biz was and still is about (see: Madonna). It's SHOW business, not talent or virtuosity business, and Lee was a master showman, just as Madonna is a master showwoman. I've never seen him live, which I consider a blessing since jazz and latin is more my bag, but I have seen him countless times on TV when I was a kid and growing up. You might say he was the fountain from whence sprang Michael Jackson...lots of glitter, sparkle, flash...long on appearance, light on content. But that's a formula that seems to work, sad to say. It sure doesn't offer much encouragement to us musician types.
  • Richard Choffe
    Im so tired & sick of reading clueless critiques of Liberace's music! For God's sake get it right! No, he was'nt perfect, just the closest musically than anybody. With the high art classical composers, he was reverently exact & intact with their compositions. With light classics, jazz and pop, you name it he did it, whether fusing or switching genre's, extemporizing or variations on a theme, he did it all, and he did it better than anybody. Liberace is the rosetta stone of music.
  • Richard Choffe
    Robin Williams as Seymour Heller, Liberace's manager? WOOOOWEEEE....DYNAMIGHTY!!!!!! Gary Sinise as Liberace's brother George? MARVELEEEEERIOS!!!!!! Kathy Bates as Liberace's mom Frances? EXTREEMLY & INTENSELY INTERESTING!!!!!! Kurt Russell as Elvis? Kurt could out Elvis Elvis' singing!!!!!!!!! Matt Damon as Scott? You name it?.... Matt could out Scott Scott!!!!!!!! Michael Douglas as Liberace?.... GET READY MIKE FOR ANOTHER OSCAR!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Kojack
    Imagine........... A shirtlass Matt-Adore... poolside by moonlight... twirling a red silk shirt...around his motorcycle helmet-for-bull... doing a mock ballet...to Liberace playing Malaguena !!!

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