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Liberace biopic will star Michael Douglas and Matt Damon as lovers

Michael Douglas in New York City on June 2, 2011.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images
michael douglas
Michael Douglas in New York City on June 2, 2011.
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

(CBS) "Behind the Candelabra," the Liberace biopic, has finally found a home on HBO. The film will star Michael Douglas as the famed pianist and vocalist and Matt Damon as Scott Thorson, Liberace's young bodyguard and lover. Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh is set to direct.

Pictures: Michael Douglas
Pictures: Matt Damon

Liberace's colorful career was rife with controversy over his sexuality. The singer constantly denied that he had a relationship with Thorson.

In 1988, Thorson published "Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace," and told CNN's Larry King that he wrote the book because, "I'm so sick and tired of Liberace's people getting on national TV and bashing me, saying that I was nothing but a cocaine addict, just smearing my name."

Production is scheduled to start summer 2012 in Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Las Vegas, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

"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," Soderbergh said in a statement. No air date has been set.

The film's title refers to the trademark candelabra always gracing Liberace's grand piano when he performed. He was also known for his outrageous costumes and extravagant jewelry.

The 67-year-old Douglas has recently battled throat cancer, but last January he announced his tumor was gone and predicted he had beaten the disease.