It was announced back in April that Brett Ratner's Hugh Hefner Biopic was happening and that it had the full support of the late Playboy creator and now it has been revealed that Jared Leto will step into the robe to play Hefner. Hugh Hefner passed away on September 27th at the age of 91, surrounded by his family, but he had already talked to Ratner about the project and was excited that the ball was finally moving after Amazon started their docuseries. The project is currently in the early stages of development, but they have just landed some major star power to portray Hugh Hefner.
Director Brett Ratner revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that Jared Leto would be playing Hugh Hefner in the long-awaited biopic, which was previously set to go forward in 2007 with Ratner on board as well. Ratner told THR that Leto actually approached him about the role. He explains.
"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."
The Academy Award winning Leto will surely be able to slip into the silk pajamas and get into what makes Hef tick, even though he was never able to meet the man. Ratner told THR he had hoped to introduce the Playboy magnate to his future portrayer at the premiere of Amazon's American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story series, which was held at the Playboy Mansion back in April of this year, but Hefner was reportedly in poor health that day and not able to attend the party or meet Jared Leto. Brett Ratner isn't worried about that fact and says that there is more than enough archival footage for Leto to study to get into character.
Jared Leto is a busy man these days. His band, Thirty Seconds to Mars, is about to launch a new album after a summer tour and the actor is currently out promoting his newest project, Blade Runner 2049. If that wasn't enough, Leto is also stepping back into to his Joker persona for Suicide Squad 2 and The Joker and Harley Quinn movie, which is reportedly set too come out after the sequel of Suicide Squad. In addition, it was announced last year that Leto had signed on to play legendary artist Andy Warhol in an upcoming biopic as well.
As previously mentioned, Brett Ratner's Hugh Hefner biopic is in the very early stages of development, so there is no current release date set. However, one of the hardest parts is already complete, which is finding the right actor for the job. It should be pretty interesting to see how the notorious method acting skills of Jared Leto are put to use to portray Hugh Hefner. You can read Ratner's full statement on Jared Leto signing on to the Hugh Hefner biopic at The Hollywood Reporter.