Nothing like the death of a celebrity to rekindle Hollywood interest in a biopic about their life. Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner died last week, and Hollywood waited the minimal amount of time before turning that sad news into a money making opportunity.
To not sound too cynical, a Hefner biopic has been in development since 2007 with Brett Ratner attempting to get the project off the ground, but it took the death of Hefner for Ratner to finally find a star. THR reports that Jared Leto is now on board to star as Hefner.
Ratner told THR: “Jared is an old friend. 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”.
Whether Ratner and the infamously method-to-the-point-of-absurdity acting of Leto can bring some intrigue to a Hefner biopic is debatable, as a film quickly moving ahead after the death of the subject usually looks to be an extremely positive depiction rather than a nuanced look at the ‘character’, which would be a shame as an honest Hefner biopic would be controversial but interesting.
The project is still in its early stages and may go through several incarnations yet, so expect more news soon. It will be another addition to Leto’s busy schedule, as he’s already signed on for Suicide Squad 2, a standalone Joker/Harley Quinn movie and he’s potentially in line to lead the upcoming Tron reboot.