Star of Suicide Squad, and the upcoming Blade Runner 2049 Jared Leto, is set to play Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner, following his passing last month.
Brett Ratner is set to direct the biopic which has been in the works since 2007. Ratner bought the rights for the film for his production company RatPac Entertainment in 2015. The company is behind such films as Wonder Woman and The Revenant, while Ratner’s directing credits include X-Men: The Last Stand and Hercules. Although Robert Downey Jr had earlier taken an interest in the lead role, Ratner was keen on Leto, who was equally eager in portraying the controversial figure.
Ratner said of Leto: “When he heard I got the rights to Hef’s story, he told me, ‘I want to play him. I want to understand him.’ And I really believe Jared can do it. He’s one of the great actors of today.”
He had been aiming to introduce Leto to Hefner last April in preparation for the role, but the latter’s ill health had prevented the meeting. Despite this, Ratner is confident that Leto will have enough material to work with. “There’s enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants,” he said.
Ratner also hopes to revive Playboy After Dark, Hefner’s talk show that aired in the late 60’s. When he first gained the rights to his biography, Ratner described how Hefner, “started a sexual revolution from behind the walls of his legendary mansion by using the pages of Playboy magazine an his own infamous lifestyle to build a global empire that included publishing, clubs, casinos and television networks.”
See Jared Leto in his upcoming role in the trailer for Blade Runner 2049 below: