Jared Leto has officially signed on to play the late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in an upcoming biopic, reported Vice.
Hefner passed away on September 27 of this year at 91. Although the announcement came just a week after his passing, the film has apparently been in the works for the better part of a decade. The biopic is the creation of Rush Hour producer Brett Ratner.
Ratner has been keen on sharing Hefner’s strange life story for quite a while now. At one point, he even pursued Robert Downey Jr to play the lead before the project went out of control, according to the Reporter.
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In April, the director finally got the go-ahead to make the movie, and his ‘old friend’ Leto was first on the list to play the main role. “When [Leto] heard I got the rights to Hef’s story, he told me, ‘I want to play him. I want to understand him,'” Ratner told the Reporter. “And I really believe Jared can do it. He’s one of the great actors of today.”
Ratner even took the actor to the Playboy mansion for the premiere of Amazon series American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story. He wanted to introduce Leto to Heffner in person, but the star wasn’t feeling well enough for the visit. Even though their meeting wasn’t possible, Ratner is still sure that Leto will ace the role, “There’s enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants,” he told the Reporter.
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The Suicide Squad star just finished shooting for Blade Runner 2049 and is also panned out to essay Andy Warhol in another forthcoming biopic. As the Hefner movie is still in its early stages, there’s no timeline about when it will go into production.
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