Michael Douglas as Liberace?
Michael Douglas looks set to play the flamboyant pianist Liberace in a biographical film about the man's life which will be directed by Steven Soderbergh. However the plans aren't to make it any time soon, and Douglas isn't getting any younger.
Interestingly another Soderbergh regular may be set to take up a major role in the film, and the reveal of the character does suggest which part of Liberace's life the film will focus on. Matt Damon looks set to take the role of Scott Thorson.
For those of you who don't know, Scott Thorson is the man who sued Liberace in 1982 for US $113 million in palimony as he claimed that he was the man's lover for five years. Apparently the lawsuit was settled out of court for what Variety says was US $95,000. Amazingly though, Liberace continued to deny the allegations that he was gay, something which seems rather crazy to do.
Liberace died in 1987 at the age of sixty-seven from complications from AIDS, further increasing the rumour mill that the man was gay.
However that hardly matters, he was an entertainer and a pianist, and his shows and music were loved by huge audiences across the globe.
It does look like his story will focus on his later years with the lawsuit, the speculation, and his death. We're yet to find out if it's going to look to his earlier years and perhaps cast someone younger, but Michael Douglas looks set to play his elder years.
Interesting choice too. Michael Douglas is a great actor, more so when he had strong roles in his youth as the majority of roles he's taken in his later years have not been his strongest. However I don't think he's ever played a musician, much less one as camp as Liberace.
Richard LaGravanese is set to write the script, and he's written and directed P.S. I Love You and Freedom Writers, as well as one of the segments in Paris Je t’aime (Filmstalker review). He's also written The Horse Whisperer, The Mirror Has Two Faces, The Fisher King, and a personal favourite, The Bridges of Madison County, all very good films, and all carrying a similar sentimental and relationship based thread. Apply that to the Liberace script and I think you can see the direction it will take.