Film dubbed 'too gay' for Hollywood set for release

The first trailer for Behind the Candelabra, a film dubbed "too gay" for Hollywood by its director, has been released.

Behind the Candelabra stars Michael Douglas as the piano master Liberace and Matt Damon as his young lover Scott Thorson.

Rob Lowe appears as Liberace's taunt, fake-tanned plastic surgeon while Dan Akroyd and Debbie Reynolds, a real-life friend of the pianist, play his parents.

The film, which will screen on US TV network HBO, is based on Thorson's book, Behind the Candelabra: My Life With Liberace.

Its trailer revels in Liberace's famed excesses, showing characters wearing giant fur coats and even bigger hair in scenes of over-the-top emotion and drama.

Director Steven Soderbergh said the film was almost never made because Hollywood executives thought it was "too gay".

"Nobody would make it. We went to everybody in town," he told The Wrap. "We needed $5m. Nobody would do it. 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."

Soderbergh and the film's two main stars are all Academy Award winners.

- nzherald.co.nz