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Michael Douglas, Matt Damon to star in HBO movie about Liberace's "tempestuous relationship" with live-in lover

Here's an eye-popper. HBO announced Tuesday that Michael Douglas and Matt Damon will star in "a behind-the-scenes look at the tempestuous relationship between legendary entertainer Liberace and Scott Thorson, his younger live-in lover."

The film, titled Behind the Candelabra, will be directed by Steven Soderbergh and produced by Jerry Weintraub.

"This is a story that's going to surprise a lot of people," said HBO Films president Len Amato. "It's funny, heartbreaking and always fascinating."

The casting perhaps is surprise enough, with Douglas and Damon respectively playing Liberace and Thorson. "Putting these two fine actors in the creative hands of Steven Soderbergh -- it doesn't get better than that!" Weintraub said in a publicity release that included an exclamation point.

Production won't begin until the summer of 2012, HBO said, with location filming in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Palm Springs.

In 1988, the year after his death, ABC and CBS aired Liberace movies within a week of one another.

ABC's Liberace starred Andrew Robinson in the title role, with Maris Valainis as Thorson. CBS' Liberace: Behind the Music starred Victor Garber, with Michael Dolan as Thorson.

*** Following a battle over payments to its voice actors, Fox has renewed The Simpsons for a 24th and 25th season. That would make a grand total of 559 episodes, Fox says.

Cast members reportedly were asked to take 40 percent pay cuts in order to make The Simpsons affordable for two more seasons. No details were given in the Fox publicity release, but all concerned say it came down to the wire -- and significantly reduced salaries.