Director Steven Soderbergh approached every studio in Hollywood when he wanted to make a film biopic about Liberace. Surprisingly, every one of them turned it down on the basis it was “too gay for theaters.” That’s when HBO stepped in.
“Behind the Candelabra” is a film that centers around the tumultuous 6-year relationship between Liberace and his lover Scott Thorson, who was much, much younger. Matt Damon plays the role of Thorson and Michael Douglas plays Liberace.
As Soderbergh explained, “Nobody would make it. We went to everybody in town. They all said it was too gay. And this is after ‘Brokeback Mountain‘ by the way, which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned. It made no sense to any of us.”
He continued, “This is a magnet for attention. The whole package to them looked (to HBO) like a slam dunk. The studios didn’t know how to sell it. They were scared.”
“Behind the Candelabra” is set to air on HBO this spring.