The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, revealing that Leto will soon trade far-future dystopias and uncanny Replicants for a rather plush smoking jacket, as he’s set to portray the iconic Playboy mogul on the big, big screen. Details are few and far between at this early stage, but we imagine the Powers That Be will want to commemorate the life and legacy of Hugh Hefner after the former publisher and all-around philanthropist passed away late last month at the age of 91.
A vocal advocate of sexual liberation, Hugh Hefner shot to fame back in 1953 upon founding Playboy Magazine, and remained editor-in-chief until the Playboy brand itself ballooned into a worldwide empire. He was famous for occupying the so-called Playboy Mansion, and has since participated in numerous documentaries – for instance, most recently Hefner appeared in Amazon’s 2017 docuseries, American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, to ring in his 91st birthday.
Sadly, Hefner passed away before Jared Leto had the chance to meet him, though director-producer Brett Ratner is still confident that there’s enough material there for Leto to work with ahead of this embryonic biopic.
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.
Having been attached to a Hugh Hefner biopic since 2007, this is a major breakthrough for Brett Ratner and Co., who originally had their eyes on Robert Downey Jr. for the project – talk about going full circle, given Stan Lee’s cameo in the original Iron Man movie. But now, it looks certain that Jared Leto (Gotham City Sirens) will be the one tasked with playing Hefner on the silver screen in due time.