Hot on the heels of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner’s death, The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed that Jared Leto will star as the American businessman on camera. Director Brett Ratner began thinking about this project earlier on in the year. Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment initially obtained the rights to the film, but when they expired, the rights went to producer Jerry Weintraub for Warner Bros. Ratner purchased them in 2015 when Weintraub passed away. Leto is apparently the man for the job.
“Jared is an old friend,” says Brett Ratner, the director of the upcoming film. “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.”
It was initially believed that Robert Downey Jr. would be playing Hugh Hefner, but the role has gone to famed Suicide Squad actor Leto. Leto had planned on meeting Hugh in April of this year, yet the 91 year old wasn’t in proper health and the get together never took place. Ratner states “There’s enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants.”