Fresh off the success of Magic Mike, Steven Soderbergh‘s fascination with showmanship continues. His current project is a HBO biopic about Liberace and his behind-closed-doors love affair with a man 39 years his junior.
And now we have our first look at its stars — Michael Douglas as the ultimate performer, Matt Damon as his youthful lover Scott Thorson — in costume on the set of Behind the Candelabra. The pair sport 1970s hairdos and massive collars in a car-shopping scene shot on location in Los Angeles. The shoot will also take them to Las Vegas and Palm Springs.
Liberace and Thorson first met in 1976 when the pianist was 56 and Thorson was just 17. Liberace soon hired him as a companion, assistant and driver. Despite Liberace’s public denials about his homosexuality, the two became lovers — but things ended badly when Thorson filed a $113 million palimony lawsuit in 1982. The two reconciled before Liberace’s death from AIDS-related complications in 1987.
The movie, which also stars Rob Lowe, Dan Aykroyd and Cheyenne Jackson, is from a screenplay by Richard LaGravanese, who adapted Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace, Thorson’s memoir of his years with the flamboyant pianist. First announced in 2008, it was delayed by Douglas’ treatment for throat cancer in 2010. It’s set to debut on HBO in 2013.
And that’s not the only film the prolific director has slated for next year: The Bitter Pill, a psychological thriller starring Rooney Mara who turns to psycho-pharmaceuticals to cope with the stress of her husband’s release from prison, has already wrapped. It reunites Soderbergh with his Magic Mike star, Channing Tatum.