Fresh off the news that Steven Soderbergh’s Che has been picked up by IFC Films, now there’s word that the director’s developing a film based on the last years of singer Liberace. Michael Douglas will star as the flamboyant singer, while Matt Damon is in talks for the role of Liberace’s supposed companion of five years. Of course, being so prolific, Mr. Soderbergh still has a few films lined up before he can even get to this, so expect to see Liberace sparkling into theaters sometime in 2010.
We can already imagine the Oscar campaign: “What could possibly be the last, great performance of Michael Douglas’ long career!” But Mr. Soderbergh has a way of taking stock genre films and giving them a fresh spin. Even in his worst efforts, like the Ambien on film stock that was The Good German or the stiff sci-fi of the ultimately empty Solaris, Mr. Soderbergh brings his own particular brand of sensibility to something we’ve seen countless times before. A movie about Liberace might seem like a hack idea: a blustery tearjerker with a big star turn at its warm gooey center. But that’s probably what we were saying when we heard about Erin Brockovich too, and we think that turned out just fine.