The Joker is about to become the head of Playboy.
Jared Leto has been known for his portrayal of some really memorable on-screen roles over the past few years. From his Oscar-winning turn in Dallas Buyers Club to his tattoo-laden physical transformation into the world-famous comic book villain The Joker in the flick Suicide Squad, Leto is an actor who gets totally immersed in any part he takes on. The trend should continue into the near future as well, as The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that he will be the man undertaking the role of Hugh Hefner in an upcoming biopic.
The 45-year-old, who is set to star in this week's highly-anticipated science fiction blockbuster Blade Runner 2049, will be teaming with Brett Ratner, who is best known for directing all three installments of the hit Rush Hour comedy franchise. The duo will attempt to offer up an intimate look into the life of the world-renowned publishing magnate, who passed away on September 27th at the age of 91. As it turns out, this particular project is one that has been gestating for a little while now. The director-producer has reportedly been intent on helming the film treatment of Hef's life since 2007. Initially set up at Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment, Robert Downey Jr. had once been attached to star as the Playboy founder.
"Jared is an old friend," says Ratner, 48, said of the lead actor. "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." When the rights to the man's life story expired, they were purchased by producer Jerry Weintraub, who has worked on Ocean's Eleven and HBO's Westworld for production over at Warner Bros. After Weintraub died in 2015, Ratner went after the rights and purchased them for his own company, RatPac Entertainment. "My goal is to do the motion picture as an event," he said, leaving no doubt that this Hefner biopic will live as large as its subject did in his heyday. There has been no release date confirmed for the project.