The 66-year-old actor, who has been battling throat cancer since August, tells the weekly Hollywood Reporter that he'll play the title part in Steven Soderbergh's "Liberace," which is set to begin shooting in May or June.
Douglas says he will learn in January if his cancer has been eliminated. Doctors have told him there is an 80-percent cure rate.
He says his cancer diagnosis has brought him closer to his 93-year-old father, Kirk Douglas. The two had a strained relationship for many years, but "he really made an effort" after the diagnosis, Douglas says. "He was back here almost 10 days. He came over everyday. He was great."
Douglas says that when he was growing up, his father was angry and often absent.
"In those key years, when Kirk was doing five movies a year, if we saw him it was only out of his guilt," Douglas says.
He also acknowledges that he may have repeated that pattern with his own son, Cameron Douglas, 31, who was recently jailed on drug-related charges.
"I'm sure it's not easy, either, being a third generation," Douglas says. "Kirk was all-consumed, was overworked. Probably like myself at a certain time in my life."
Douglas also reflects on his recent difficulties with ex-wife Diandra Douglas, whose bid to claim half of his earnings from "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps" was dismissed in a New York court earlier this month.
He is optimistic about his recovery, and while the disease "certainly has put a little perspective on mortality," it has also "shown me what family is," Douglas says. "It showed me a love that I never knew really existed."
The article appears in the issue on newsstands Wednesday.