AceShowbiz - Jared Leto is officially cast in an upcoming Hugh Hefner biopic. The 30 Seconds to Mars frontman is confirmed to portray the late Playboy founder in a true-story pic to be directed by Brett Ratner ("X-Men: The Last Stand").
"Jared is an old friend," the director tells The Hollywood Reporter. "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."
The biopic is developed at Universal Pictures. "My goal is to do the motion picture as an event," Ratner said. He hoped to introduce Leto to Hefner but couldn't due to the Playboy mogul's failing health. Ratner was not worried though. "There's enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants," he said.
Brett Ratner's directorial movie was 2014's "Hercules" which starred Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Meanwhile, Jared Leto was last seen on the big screen in 2016's "Suicide Squad" as The Joker. He will next star in "Blade Runner 2049" along with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling. His next project is "The Outsider". Before he was hired for the Hefner biopic, Robert Downey Jr. was attached to the role.
Hugh Hefner passed away at the Playboy mansion in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles on September 27 at the age of 91. He died from cardiac arrest and respiratory failure. "Hef was my friend. He was the coolest. And the hippest. And at the same time, the squarest," Ratner remembered the late Playboy mogul. "His heart was a well of emotion, open for all to see. He was the least prejudiced man I ever knew. He had deep pockets and long arms."