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Jared Leto Will Star as Hugh Hefner in Movie About the Playboy Founder's Life
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6 Oct 2017 03:27 PM EST

-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Jared Leto (Image Source: Screenshot)

Hugh Hefner has been gone literally days, and already they are preparing a biopic of his life.

Additionally, they've already found a star to portray the Playboy founder presumably in his younger years: Jared Leto.

There's no doubt Hefner led an interesting life. After he founded the magazine, it led to a whole Playboy brand with nightclubs, television shows, etc. Everyone recognizes that silhouette of the rabbit head as the Playboy logo. He had three wives and an infinite number of younger girlfriends.

Leto's had an interesting life himself. He's both a rocker, as the frontman for the band 30 Seconds to Mars, and an actor, having appeared in many films starting with How to Make an American Quilt, and Suicide Squad and Dallas Buyers Club more recently. He won Oscar, Golden Globe, and SAG awards for the latter role.

"Jared is an old friend," said Brett Ratner, who will be directing the Hefner biopic. "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."

In truth, Ratner has been working on this film long before Hefner died, since 2007. Initially, Robert Downey Jr. was lined up to play the recently-deceased playboy when the film was attached to Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment.

The rights to the story expired, and producer Jerry Weintraub bought the film for Warner Bros. But Hef ended up outliving Weintraub, who passed away in 2015.

This led to Ratner buying the rights to it with a certain goal in mind.

"My goal is to do the motion picture as an event," he said.

He and Leto visited the Playboy Mansion back in April for the premiere of American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story on Amazon. They also celebrated Hef turning 91.

Leto never got to meet him, however, as with his bad health, he wasn't up to guests the day of the visit. But Ratner thinks Leto will be able to pull off the character anyway.

"There's enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants," he explained.

Additionally, Ratner wants relaunch Hefner's old show from the late 60s, Playboy After Dark.

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