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.

Read More »

The Liberace movie that Steven Soderbergh has talked about making for a couple years is finally going to happen. Once slated to shoot earlier this year with Michael Douglas playing LIberace and Matt Damon playing his lover Scott Thorson, the project was put on hold when Douglas had to dedicate time to his affliction with cancer. But the actor is in good shape now, and the film is moving forward once more.

Douglas and Damon are still starring. We’ve got a title for the film, Behind the Candelabra, and a financier. In something of a surprise turn, the film won’t be a theatrical feature, as HBO has stepped up to finance. A shoot is tentatively planned for summer 2012. Read More »


Despite a rather public battle with throat cancer in the last few months, Michael Douglas appears to be gathering his strength. He’s been looking more and more healthy in the past few weeks (just look at him here) and now it seems he’s prepping to go back to work. In a new interview, the actor/producer says that Steven Soderbergh‘s Liberace is happening, and soon. The shoot is planned for May or June of 2011. Read More »

Soderbergh Finally Talks About Moneyball


Steven Soderbergh is nothing if not professional, and when a project doesn’t work out for a pro, they just move on. Moneyball, Soderbergh’s planned adaptation of the Michael Lewis book about the stat-based success of Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane, was famously canceled at the last minute a couple months ago. But we didn’t hear a peep out of Soderbergh about the project’s failure, until now. Read More »

Steven Soderbergh’s career has always been incredibly diverse, ranging from the audacious Sex, Lies, and Videotape to the fluffy Ocean’s trilogy. Now comes word from Variety that Soderbergh is helming a biopic based on pianist Liberace’s life, a film still in early stages of development. Soderbergh wants Michael Douglas for the lead role, while Matt Damon is in discussions to play Scott Thorson, who claimed to be Liberace’s live-in boyfriend and sued him for $113 million in palimony.

I’m hopeful for this film’s potential because Liberace, who died in 1987, seems like he lived a life that doesn’t conform strictly to what I’m now calling the “Walk Hard paradigm” of biopics (i.e. musician overcomes the pain and horror of a family tragedy, achieves fame by the skin of his teeth, becomes hedonistic/misogynistic, deals with drugs/alcohol addiction, finds redemption in the end). Despite the fact that they’ve become tired and similar to each other, as a musician myself, I feel like some of the best moments of those types of films are when they convey the wonder and excitement of performing in front of large groups of people. Liberace’s career certainly seems like it would facilitate these types of powerful moments.

The film will not be Soderbergh’s next film, which is The Girlfriend Experience, and won’t even be his next film after that, so regardless of what you think of the idea, we won’t be seeing this one for awhile. Still, the movie seems like it could be an interesting way to introduce the entertainer to a whole new generation of moviegoers, many of whom probably only know Liberace by name and reputation, and not for the specific details of his musical career. As for Michael Douglas in the lead role, it’ll be heartening to see him truly flex his acting muscles for the first time in awhile.

Discuss: A Liberace biopic – Good idea/Bad idea? Also, what do you think of Michael Douglas in the lead role?

Source: Variety