Here's a bit of surprising news over the Moviefone transom: the previously untitled Liberace movie that Steven Soderbergh was planning to make with Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will actually debut on television. HBO announced that 'Behind the Candelabra' will start production next year, with eyes on a network premiere sometime after. "From the inception of this project, we've had two priorities: getting it right creatively, and getting as many people as possible to see it," Soderbergh said in a statement. "HBO's fearless approach to original programming and their unparalleled ability to pull in viewers make them the perfect fit for us. Apart from my hair growing back, I couldn't be happier."
Produced by legendary Hollywood mogul Jerry Weintraub ('Ocean's Eleven') and Gregory Jacobs ('Contagion'), 'Behind the Candelabra' tells the story of the "tempestuous relationship" between famed singer Liberace (Douglas) and Scott Thorson (Damon), his younger lover. 'Candelabra' was assumed to be one of Soderbergh's "final" directorial outings -- the Oscar winner has said in the past he will make only three more films: 'The Man from U.N.C.L.E.,' 'Magic Mike' and the Liberace biopic. Whether he holds true to those statements remains to be seen.

"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, who was the subject of 'His Way,' said in a statement. "I am thrilled that we have the incomparable Michael Douglas to inhabit the role of Liberace, as well as the exceptional Matt Damon to play the pivotal part of Scott Thorson. Putting these two fine actors in the creative hands of Steven Soderbergh -- it doesn't get better than that!"

It sure doesn't. Except for the fact that Weintraub had earmarked Douglas as a potential Academy Awards lock earlier this year. "It's going to win an Academy Award," he told Movieline's S.T. VanAirsdale in March. "For Michael Douglas." Perhaps he'll settle for an Emmy.

[via Press Release]

[Photo: Getty]

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categories Movies