One of our first selfish fears when we heard that actor Michael Douglas had contracted throat cancer was, “crap, bye, bye ‘Liberace’ film” however as early as a month ago, it appeared our doom and gloom outlook was entirely premature. Speaking to EW, Matt Damon revealed, "I’ve talked to Michael and everything’s on schedule for him, which is great. So we’ve all cleared our schedules and are all really excited about that happening."
And now, Douglas confirms that he's getting ready to prepare for the role saying, “I’ve got a bunch of tapes of performances,” adding, “I’m thinking; I’m a blank slate. Everything shows me he was a lovely man; I just want to reconfirm that.” The role will certainly be one that will require a fair bit of work. Douglas will undergo musical training and will also wear special prosthetics, most likely to make him appear as close to the Liberace as possible.
The biopic will chronicle the secretive relationship between Liberace his lover Scott Thorson and will be based on Thorson's book, “Behind the Candelabra (My Life With Liberace).” And just how "lovely" of a person Liberace remains to be seen. He famously battled Thorson in court after he sued him for palimony following their breakup. Liberace vigorously denied his homosexuality and his own conservative views in public ran directly counter to his private life. He was certainly a complex man and we hope that's reflected in the script by Richard LaGravenese (”Conviction,” “The Fisher King”).
For now, Douglas is very much on the road to recovery with a positive eye on the future while Damon and Soderbergh are hard at work on the virus-thriller "Contagion." Look for "Haywire" in theaters next year and Soderbergh recently signed on to direct "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." which has George Clooney attached to star and a tentative late 2011 or early 2012 start date on the schedule.