Thursday, September 17, 2009

Matt Damon to Star in Liberace biopic for Warner Brothers

Director Steven Soderbergh (Ocean's Eleven, Erin Brockovich) is developing a feature biopic about the life of flamboyant entertainer Liberace, with Michael Douglas (Streets of San Francisco) attached for the lead.  

Liberace was an alleged big, flaming homosexual.  I say "alleged" because he denied being gay all the way up until his death in 1986 from complications from AIDS.

Soderbergh just confirmed buddy Matt Damon to play Scott Thorson, the man who sued Liberace in 1982 for palimony, and in essence, finally outed him.  Damon just worked with Soderbergh in The Informant.

Damon has played gay before in The Talented Mr Ripley.  Um, but that was technically a gay serial killer, not a regular gay.  

This is not the first Liberace biopic. The first one starred Victor Garber in 1988.  Is Garber out?  Because if he's not, that's kinda ironic/funny.

The script is being written by Richard LaGravanese (The Ref, The Fisher King, PS I Love You) with Jerry Weintraub (Diner, The Specialist, Ocean's Thirteen) producing. 

Weintraub was also the producer on the gay leather boy serial killer film, Cruising in 1980 starring Al Pacino.  I'm seeing a trend in gay serial killer movies.

Screenwriter LaGravenese also penned The Mirror Has Two Faces for Barbra Streisand, so he clearly must know a  thing or two about DIVAS to use in the Liberace biopic.

Soderbergh exploded onto the film scene with his debut feature Sex, Lies and Videotape back in 1989, which was a huge hit at Sundance, and pretty much kick-started the entire American independent cinema movement (thanks Steve!). 

Soon after, he teamed up with George Clooney for the adaptation of Elmore Leonard's OUT OF SIGHT.  Clooney and Jennifer Lopez might have sizzled on screen, but the true partnership was formed off set between he and Soderbergh.  The two would work together for years producing over 20 films through the company they co-founded, Section Eight (which recently dissolved in 2006). 

Those films included Syriana, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind, Far From Heaven, The Good German, Good Night and Good Luck and Michael Clayton.  Basically all pretty kick-ass, anti-establishment movies with good intent and political bents.

Liberace was actually Polish/Italian, born Wladziu Valentino Liberace and he was a highly successful pianist/entertainer from the 1940's until the 1970's.

At 21 he played piano with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  In 1950, he played for then President Harry Truman at the White House.    He was all about glamour and showmanship and not surprisingly had a huge, old lady fan base who just cooed over his fey voice and gentile manner.

His brand of high glam would beget another famous piano playing 'mo, Elton John.  In fact, when John auctioned off all his flamboyant outfits from the 1970's, the reason he gave was that he didn't want to turn into Liberace. 

Rumours of Liberace's homosexuality obviously surfaced quite frequently over the years (gee what gave it away?!).  He smacked them down faster than Tom Cruise does these days.  Liberace sued The Daily Mirror and won.  He also sued Confidential and won.

His final television appearance before his death was on OPRAH in 1986.

Douglas once ruined a Broadway classic by starring as the lead of the film version of A Chorus Line.  

He went on to make a string of misogynistic films including Basic Instinct (he seduces a lesbian, but it's okay because she's an ice pick murderer), Fatal Attraction (he cheats on his wife, played by the lovely Anne Archer, but it's okay since his mistress is a crazed murderer) and Disclosure (a movie about how horrible it is to be raped by Demi Moore).

If you're keeping track of the gay serial killer movie references in this article....with Basic Instinct, that makes three.

Couldn't work in MONSTER or SILENCE OF THE LAMBS.  

What is with Hollywood making so many movies about gay serial killers!?  

Here's Liberace with Scott Thorson, and on the right -  Elton John, who is not only out but is the founder of the Elton John Aids Foundation, which raises money for the cause.

1 comment:

freakazilla said...

How to go from Gordon to GLITTERMAN

Michael Douglas IS LIBERACE !!!...
WILL BE after MattAdore flamencoes to his Malaguena !!!
Hugh Jackman as the very young Lee?
Robin Williams as LIBERACE's manager, Seymour Heller? YEEEEEEEEEEEES DYNAMIGHTY !!!
Gary Sinise as Liberace's brother, George? SERIOUS AS A HEART ATTACK!
Sally Field as George's wife,Dora?
( the other Ms in Ms Doubtfire)!!!
Kurt Russell as Elvis Presley ?...
I almost thought HE WAS Elvis?!!!
George Clooney as Jack Benny ?
He's just as deliriously funny too
Matt Damon IS Scott Thorson !!!
Matt could even do "The Elton John Story" TOOOOOOOOOOO !!!