Late last week, reports confirmed the passing of Playboy millionaire Hugh Hefner who lived to be 91 years of age. Hefner rose to fame during the 1950s when he launched Playboy Magazine and sustained his wealth later on in life through appearing in television series’ such as The Girls Next Door, a show that saw Hefner invite models from across the U.S. into his mega-mansion. In the news, Hefner’s death has re-opened the discussions about his treatment of women.
Filmmaker Brett Ratner is said to have been working on a biopic for Hefner since 2007, with Robert Downey Jr. having originally been rumoured to star. Now, however, it seems that Ratner has found his Hefner in Blade Runner 2049‘s Jared Leto whose character acting has won him an Oscar.
In a recent conversation with THR, Ratner spoke about his connections with Leto and why he thought the Suicide Squad actor would be the right fit for the role:
“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.”
Ratner’s friendship with Hefner will probably mean that the filmmaker will go for an overall positive take on Hefner’s life, despite the controversies surrounding him. No doubt, the 48-year-old director will tap into the moral questions of the hedonist’s treatment of women, and his reported countless number of sexual relations with those that have stayed under his roof. Whether Ratner will be bold and state his position on the issue or leave it open for the viewer to decide remains to be seen, but either way these elements will make the man all the more interesting for Leto to portray.
It is now well-known that the Oscar winning 30 Seconds to Mars frontman is prepared to go the lengths to develop a character, having apparently played a number of Jokerish pranks on his Suicide Squad castmates as a way to stay in sync with his guise in the film. Although the this biopic is no superhero-action flick, we expect that Leto will embody Hefner in a way that does justice to Ratner’s vision and understanding of the late playboy’s life.
A release date for the Hugh Hefner Biopic is yet to be announced.