There are two signs that you are (or were) an iconic figure. The first: you are known by a single name—Cher, Madonna, Barbra…you get the idea. The second: they make a movie about your love-life. These are just solid facts, people. So, if there was any doubt about Liberace’s iconicism, all of it can be put to rest now. Director Steven Soderbergh and producer Jerry Weintraub are putting together a biopic about the famous singer as an HBO movie. Impressive figures are not limited to those behind the camera; Michael Douglas will play Liberace himself, while Matt Damon will play his lover Scott Thorson.
Liberace’s relationship with Thorson was famous for two reasons. First of all, it was an open secret that Liberace was homosexual (despite his many denials). Obviously, during Liberace’s time in the spotlight in the 1950s and ’60s, prejudices against homosexuality were rampant in American society. Suspicions about Liberace being gay resulted in a good deal of ridicule against him.
Additionally, after his and Liberace’s relationship ended, Thorson opened a palimony lawsuit against Liberace in the 1980s, not long before the pianist’s passing.
The film will cover the love and lawsuit between the two men, likely highlighting Liberace’s fame as well as the secrecy of their love as a strain on what could have been an otherwise healthy relationship.
Production will begin in the summer of 2012.