Michael Douglas as Liberace in Behind the Candelabra

The recent casting of Michael Douglas in Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man came as a big surprise for a couple reasons. One was that, up until Douglas was announced, there had been no confirmation that the film would feature two different Ant-Men. Another was that, well, this is Douglas we’re talking about. Comic book movies haven’t really been his thing, historically speaking.

But based on Douglas’ latest comments, it sounds like the shock factor was what attracted him to the role in the first place. “Sometimes — like (when) they didn’t see you for Liberace — you’ve got to shake them up a little bit and have some fun,” he said. Hit the jump to find out some of the other reasons he decided to sign on.

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Michael Douglas is Hank Pym in ‘Ant-Man’

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Word has just hit that Michael Douglas, fresh from his Golden Globe win for Behind the Candelabra, will be in Edgar Wright‘s Ant-Man. He’ll be the first Ant-Man, Henry “Hank” Pym. That pegs Paul Rudd as Scott Lang, who becomes Ant-Man after stealing Pym’s tech.

Marvel confirms those details. (Variety, in a story that has since been changed, said Douglas is the villain in the film, without naming his character. That’s an interesting clash of info, but likely just an error on the trade’s part.)

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Last Vegas

What do you do when you manage to get four iconic Academy Award winners (Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, and Kevin Kline) together at the same time? If you’re director Jon Turtletaub, you get them to recreate The Hangover for the senior citizen set.

To clarify, Last Vegas isn’t actually a Hangover remake or sequel, it just kinda looks like one. The quartet play a group of lifelong friends who descend upon Las Vegas for a booze-fueled bacchanal when one of their number (Douglas) finally decides to tie the knot. Watch the first full-length trailer after the jump.

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The Hangover films have been gigantic successes, but they might be a little more raunchy than some audiences want. For your family members who maybe want to stick to movies like Meet the Parents, here’s Last Vegas. The movie is set in Vegas, with Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline as four life-long friends who trek to the city for a bachelor party.

National Treasure captain Jon Turtletaub directs, and the first teaser makes it look as lightweight as the concept sounds. Sure, there’s something to be said for watching a couple of these actors break out of their usual patterns. It’s cute to watch Morgan Freeman play a guy who gets wasted on vodka/Red Bull, for example, and I won’t begrudge Michael Douglas having fun on screen at this point in his life and career. Whether that will make you want to watch the actual film is another question.

Check out the footage below. Read More »

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The first trailer for Steven Soderbergh‘s Liberace biography Behind the Candelabra, airing on HBO later this month, didn’t show us much of the work Michael Douglas did to bring the late entertainer back to life. This long featurette on the making of the film gives us a lot more to look at, while also introducing quite a few other elements of the film.

You’ll see some of Dan Aykroyd‘s work — he looks great — and there are some shots of other actors such as Rob Lowe and Debbie Reynolds. There’s a puff piece aspect to this featurette, which is pretty common for promo pieces like this, but for those curious about Soderbergh’s film there’s some good info. For those who don’t know much about Liberace there’s a brief encapsulation of the pianist’s life and an explanation of his place in entertainment and popular culture. One person who doesn’t have any real voice here is Soderbergh, who is seen working, but doesn’t give an interview. Read More »

Behind the Candelabra

Steven Soderbergh‘s retirement has turned out to be more of a transition. While he’s done with theatrical features for now, he’s as active as ever on the small screen. Just last week, he was talking up his plans to adapt John Barth’s The Sot-Weed Factor into a 12-hour miniseries.

Perfectly positioned to mark that switch from the big screen to the small one is Behind the Candelabra, an HBO film about the rather bizarre romance between the famed pianist (played with flirty, flamboyant charm by Michael Douglas) and his much younger lover Scott Thorson (a wide-eyed Matt Damon). The first full-length trailer has finally hit the web, and you can check it out after the jump.

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The last film Steven Soderbergh made before his self-imposed retirement/hiatus was Behind the Candelabra, based on Scott Thorson‘s memoir about his secret romance with the entertainer Liberace. Michael Douglas plays Liberace and Matt Damon plays Thorson in Soderbergh’s film, which premieres in late May on HBO. We’ve seen one teaser that was free of actual footage, but now there is a second teaser clip that shows the two lead actors in all their glory.

Perhaps better than the teaser, however, is info about Soderbergh’s next project — indeed, he plans to continue working, if not in the realm of theatrical features. (For now.) In the past, the writer/director has spoken of adapting John Barth’s 1960 novel The Sot-Weed Factora savage satire set in the 1600s about ”an English poet who moves to Maryland to take over his father’s tobacco farm.” Now he is developing a 12-hour miniseries based on the novel.

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Is Steven Soderbergh really retiring from directing movies, or is he merely taking a nice vacation/hiatus, or spending some time thinking more about making TV projects rather than theatrical films?

Hard to say for sure at this point, as his statements on the subject have ranged through all those possibilities over the past year. We do know that the last thing he shot was the Liberace biopic Behind the Candelabra, starring Michael Douglas as the famed entertainer and Matt Damon as his lover Scott Thorson. While Soderbergh may well make another movie or TV project in the future, this is the last thing he has planned for release as far as we know.

We’ve seen a few photos from the film, such as the one above, and now HBO has released a teaser. Sadly, it doesn’t feature the actors, but you can take a look at the animated swirl of piano keys, just as a reminder that this one is coming up in a couple months. Read More »

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