recently revealed the struggles he faced in trying to secure financing for his now completed biopic on the late piano maestro . The major Hollywood studios refused to finance the film, which is titled Beyond the Candelabra, evidently because it was "too gay." Beyond the Candelabra centers on the relationship between the flamboyant Liberace and his long-term, younger lover Scott Thorson, whom Liberace met when Thorson was seventeen. Soderbergh had wrangled and to star in the lead roles and needed only $5 million to produce the film.
Despite all this, during the pre-production phase, one by one the studios turned down the Oscar-winning director's project, much to his chagrin. Here's what he told The Wrap...
"Nobody would make it. We went to everybody in town. We needed $5m. Nobody would do it. They said it was too gay. Everybody. This was after Brokeback Mountain12, by the way. Which is not as funny as this movie. I was stunned. It made no sense to any of us."
With Hollywood turning their back on Beyond the Candelabra, Soderbergh turned to television. His completed film will now premiere on HBO in the spring. For those of you keeping score, that would place the biopic in position to be Soderbergh's final film before his self-imposed retirement. His penultimate film Side Effects, starring , , and , hits theaters via Open Road Films next month.
It's sad that in 2013, we're still not comfortable as a society, or at least as a nation, with homosexuality. That being said, I disagree with Soderbergh's assessment as to the reason why the major studios shied away from Beyond the Candelabra. He basically defeats his own stance by mentioning Brokeback Mountain in his statement. There have been countless dramas, both from major studios and independent outlets, exploring the complexities of what it means to be gay as well as the trails facing the homosexual community. These films have achieve such legitimacy as to be nominated for Oscars.
It therefore seems odd that no studio would finance this project that came replete with low-overhead, two major stars, and an award-winning director just because it was "too gay." What's more likely is that they weren't comfortable with the fact that Thorson was underage when his relationship with Liberace began. It's understandable that a studio wouldn't want to appear to be condoning relations between a man and a too young companion; regardless of sexual orientation. In fact, this may actually be bred of a desire to avoid perpetuating stereotypes about homosexuality and pedophilia. Perhaps the pendulum is swinging in the opposite direction.