Jared Leto, 45, is slated to play the late Hugh Hefner in an upcoming biopic.


The Playboy founder died Sept. 27 aged 91, and a film of his life will be put together by Brett Ratner. “Jared is an old friend,” says director Ratner, 48. “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 film is in early development at Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment, and the director has been set on helming the film since 2007 when it was initially set up at Universal Pictures. The rights eventually expired and were bought by producer Jerry Weintraub for Warner Bros. Weintraub passed away in 2015, and Ratner bought back the rights to RatPac.

“My goal is to do the motion picture as an event,” Ratner shared.

In April, Ratner invited Leto to the Playboy Mansion for the premiere of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, an Amazon docuseries to celebrate Hefner turning 91. Ratner wished to introduce the actor to the man he’d be playing, but Hef’s declining health stopped him from meeting with guests that day. But Ratner wasn’t concerned: “There’s enough footage of Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants.”

Ratner also plans to reboot the late-1960s talk show Playboy After Dark, which Hefner hosted. First, Leto is appearing in Blade Runner 2049 alongside Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling.

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