Jared Leto to star as Playboy mogul Hugh Hefner in biopic

The Oscar-winning actor will play Hefner, who died in September, in a new film from Rush Hour director Brett Ratner

Jared Leto is set to play Hugh Hefner in a biopic from director Brett Ratner.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the Oscar-winning star of Dallas Buyers Club and Suicide Squad will take on the role of the Playboy mogul after he told the Rush Hour film-maker he was keen to understand him.

“Jared is an old friend,” said Ratner. “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 credits as director also include Red Dragon and Hercules while his production company RatPac has been behind Wonder Woman and The Revenant. “My goal is to do the motion picture as an event,” Ratner said.

There was a hope that Leto would be able to meet Hefner but the meeting failed to take place before his death on 27 September. “There’s enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants,” he said.

When Ratner initially obtained the rights to Hefner’s story, the magazine publisher referred to him as the “perfect” creative partner. “Hugh Hefner started a sexual revolution from behind the walls of his legendary mansion by using the pages of Playboy magazine an his own infamous lifestyle to build a global empire that included publishing, clubs, casinos and television networks,” Ratner said about the project.

The director also hopes to revive Hefner’s late 60s talkshow Playboy After Dark.

Leto stars in sci-fi sequel Blade Runner 2049 and will next be seen in yakuza thriller The Outsider. He is also attached to a new Tron movie and will reprise his role as The Joker in a recently announced spin-off with Margot Robbie returning as Harley Quinn.

Guardian staff

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