Michael Douglas and Matt Damon to star in Liberace film

Matt Damon and Michael Douglas Matt Damon (l) and Michael Douglas have already worked with director Steven Soderbergh

Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will star in Behind the Candelabra, a movie based on the life of flamboyant US musician Liberace.

The film, which will be directed by Steven Soderbergh, is expected to start shooting next summer.

Douglas has been lined up to play Liberace, while Damon will take on the role of his partner, Scott Thorson.

Pianist Liberace, known for his lavish lifestyle and exuberant performances, died in 1987.

Soderbergh, whose directing credits include the 2000 film Traffic, said he was focusing on "getting it right creatively".

"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," he added.

Liberace Liberace was renowned for his flamboyant style

The film-maker has worked with both Hollywood actors before.

Damon most recently appeared in Soderbergh's thriller Contagion, while Douglas was cast in Traffic, which earned four Oscars, including one for best director.

HBO Films president Len Amato said: "This is a story that's going to surprise a lot of people."

He went on to say it would be "funny, heartbreaking and always fascinating".

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