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Soderbergh Reveals Why Liberace Movie Wound Up at HBO TheWrap

Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh made a surprising revelation about his upcoming biopic about Liberace, "Behind the Candelabra," during an appearance at the Television Critics Association press tour. TheWrap.com reports that Soderbergh said the project became an HBO television movie because it was deemed "too gay” for a theatrical release.

The movie has an A-list cast, including Michael Douglas as the colorful pianist and Matt Damon as the entertainer’s young lover. And the director, Soderbergh, has an Oscar on his shelf for “Traffic,” along with nominations for “Erin Brockovich” and for his screenplay for “Sex, Lies, and Videotape.”

But Soderbergh told the website: "Nobody would make it. We went to everybody in town. We needed $5 million. Nobody would do it."

The director added: "They said it was too gay. Everybody. This was 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."

Ultimately, though, Soderbergh is happy to have the project at HBO. "They're great and they're really good at what they do, and ultimately I think more people will see it, and that's all you care about," he said. "Studios were going, 'We don't know how to sell it. They were scared.'"

The report adds: “HBO also announced Friday that it will air another gay-themed project that was once planned for theatrical release. The network said that it will air Ryan Murphy's adaptation of Larry Kramer's play ‘The Normal Heart,’ starring Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo, next year.”

The Liberace bio is scheduled to premiere in spring.