With the death of Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner still making rounds in the news and pop culture, Hollywood filmmakers have already decided to idolize the socialite as soon as they can. That’s right, if you think it’s too early, then you might disagree with the upcoming Jared Leto project.
The actor will soon be donning the iconic silk pajamas and the smoking jacket of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, who died Sept. 27 at age 91, for an upcoming biopic by Brett Ratner.
“Jared is an old friend,” Ratner told Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
The director-producer has been set on helming the movie since 2007 when it was initially set up at Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment and had Robert Downey Jr. as the possible lead.
In April, Ratner invited Leto to the Playboy Mansion for the premiere of Amazon’s docuseries American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, which doubled as a celebration of Hefner turning 91.
Ratner had hoped to introduce Jared Leto to the man he’d be playing on the big screen, but Hefner was in failing health and not greeting guests that day. But Ratner isn’t worried. “There’s enough footage on Hugh out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants,” he said.
Ratner also plans to reboot the Hefner-hosted, late-1960s talk show Playboy After Dark.