Brett Ratner has been trying to make a Hugh Hefner biopic for over a decade now. Every time the rights to the project out of his fingers, possibly because he’d turned his attention back to the Big Butt Book, the X-Men: The Last Stand director would find someway to reclaim it. But in April, he announced the film was officially back on, just as Amazon was premiering a 10-part documentary about the late Playboy founder.
Ratner was at the Amazon event, of course, along with his longtime friend (we’re just learning this now) Jared Leto, who might have been at the Playboy Mansion to pick up some more used condoms for future character research. But it turns out Leto had more than a passing interest in the life of Hefner, who died last week at the age of 91. When he learned Ratner had the rights to the divisive pop-culture figure’s story, Leto came right out and told his friend, “I want to play him. I want to understand him.”
And now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, Leto’s wish has come true: He’ll star in the upcoming biopic from Ratner. “My goal is to do the motion picture as an event,” Ratner tells THR. As for casting the Suicide Squad actor as the notorious magazine publisher, he “really believe[s] Jared can do it. He’s one of the great actors of today.” Apparently, Ratner tried to introduce Leto to Hef back in April, but the smoke-jacketed one was too ill at the time to entertain them. But don’t worry about Leto researching the role, because “there’s enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants,” including his pajama size.