Steven Soderbergh continues to be the go-to director for all things Las Vegas – HBO announced Tuesday it’s bought his Liberace biopic.
The project – now called “Behind the Candelabra – has been kicking around for a couple years – Google it, you’ll see stories about it from 2009 that announced the casting of Michael Douglas as the legendary pianist/entertainer, and Matt Damon his lover, Scott Thorson, with whom he had a tempestuous relationship.
Soderbergh is known for such films as “sex, lies and videotape,” “Traffic” (starring Douglas), and the Vegas-casino-set “Ocean” remakes (starring Damon).
“Candelabra” will chronicle the life of the pianist, who was a fixture on the Las Vegas scene in the 1950s, but became a household name thanks to the small screen. In addition to his own show, Liberace was seen on “The Ed Sullivan Show,” made cameos on campy shows as “Batman” and “The Monkees,” and was a frequent guest on “The Tonight Show” when it was hosted by Jack Paar, and later Johnny Carson. And yes, Liberace even appeared on “Saturday Night Live.”
Liberace was also known for his flashy, sparkling outfits, In comparison, Elvis Presley’s The Chubby, Vegas Years costumes looked like Brooks Brothers suits. The HBO project’s title is a reference to Liberace’s trademark prop.