‘I want to play him. I want to understand him’
Musician and Blade Runner 2049 actor Jared Leo has officially been tapped to play the late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in a new film, one that’s causing some slight controversy in the wake of the mogul’s death.
The Hollywood Reporter revealed details about the upcoming biopic, which Hercules director Brett Ratner is pursuing.
“Jared is an old friend,” Ratner said. “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.”
Hefner, who died at 91 this week, was a man with a contradictory legacy – one who many say contributed to women’s sexual revolution while others were upset by him simultaneously keeping a legion of ‘girlfriends’ alongside him in the Playboy Mansion and publishing naked photos of Marilyn Monroe without her consent.
Ratner told the Hollywood Reporter that as soon as he got the rights for the movie in April, Leto got in touch. At one stage, it had been Robert Downey Jr slated to play Hef though. Ratner took Leto to the Playboy Mansion for a film premiere earlier this year, with hopes to introduce him to the magazine publisher, but Hef had been too unwell.
“There’s enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants,” said Ratner.
The director also confirmed that he plans to restart the 60s talk show, Playboy After Dark.
My biggest fear is laying on my death bed and someone whispering into my ear "Jared Leto is going to play you in a biopic"— Kelen Keller (@KelenKeller38) October 3, 2017
No timing for production or release has been confirmed just yet. Leto is still on the promo run for Blade Runner 2049, and is still set to start in an Andy Warhol biopic and a new Tron film. We'll just have to wait and see what intense method acting comes from this.
i hate seeing people give Jared Leto shit because he's a method actor and gets into his character, just like a method actor should. but no one shits on Leonardo Dicaprio or Heath Ledger when he was alive. thats their fucking job. yall make Jared Leto sounds like a criminal.— ya boi saud (@helovesmars) October 1, 2017
Jared Leto is starring in a Hugh Hefner biopic by Brett Ratner? ah yes, the perfect team for that ~feminist legacy~ i've been hearing about.— Gavia Baker-Whitelaw (@Hello_Tailor) October 3, 2017