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by Nigel M Smith
October 11, 2011 5:53 AM
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Michael Douglas is Liberace, Matt Damon is Scott Thorson and Steven Soderbergh is Not Retired

Director Steven Soderbergh speaking with "Medicine for Melancholy" director Barry Jenkins at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Photo by Brian Brooks.

This is retirement? Showing no signs of slowing down, Steven Soderbergh is next set to helm a Liberace biopic for HBO, starring Michael Douglas as as the legendary entertainer and Matt Damon as his younger lover, Scott Thorson.

The project, titled "Behind the Candelabra," boasts a script penned by Oscar-nominee Richard LaGravenese ("The Fisher King," "Water for Elephants"), inspired by Thorson's memoir, "Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace."

Douglas has long been attached to the film, which was originally set to start shooting in June 2010. Because of Douglas' battle with cancer and Damon's busy schedule (Cameron Crowe's "We Bought a Zoo" and Neill Blomkamp's "Elysium"), the production was delayed. It's now set to go in front of the cameras in the summer of 2012.

"From the inception of this project, we’ve had two priorities: getting it right creatively, and getting as many people as possible to see it,” said Soderbergh. “HBO’s fearless approach to original programming and their unparalleled ability to pull in viewers make them the perfect fit for us. Apart from my hair growing back, I couldn’t be happier."

Soderbergh is currently in the midst of shooting the male stripper pic "Magic Mike" starring Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer and Alex Pettyfer. His virus thriller "Contagion" is currently in theaters and his next film, "Haywire," opens wide on January 20.

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