There have been talks of a Hefner biopic for a decade, and with rights to the film changing hands several times over the years, they landed with Brett Ratner’s Ratpac Entertainment back in 2015. “In recent years there has been plenty of interest and much conversation about doing a feature film based on my life,” Hefner said in April. “I have always believed that when the timing was truly right, the perfect creative partners would come together for this project. I believe we’ve found those partners in Brett Ratner and RatPac Entertainment.”
Now, Ratner has revealed that actor and 30 Seconds To Mars singer Jared Leto will be playing the lead role as the Playboy founder. “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 said in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
Leto was slated to meet Hefner in April at a premiere of the American Playboy documentary at the Mansion in Los Angeles. However, Hefner was too ill to greet guests, and Leto never met the man he’s set to play ons creen. Still, Ratner is confident in his acting abilities, saying “there’s enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants.”
With much controversy surrounding Hefner and his Playboy legacy, it will be interesting to see how the film shines light on his rollercoaster life. For now, the lead has been locked in – so expect to see Leto in that signature Playboy robe.