Jared Leto to play late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in biopic

Leto reportedly contacted director Brett Ratner to ask for the role.
Leto reportedly contacted director Brett Ratner to ask for the role.PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES - Jared Leto is set to portray late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner in an upcoming biopic.

The film, to be directed by Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, 1998), had been in the works for years, but never got off the ground until shortly before Hefner's death last week, according to online reports.

Reportedly, Leto, 45, who has an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club (2013), contacted Ratner to ask for the role.

In a Hollywood Reporter article, Ratner was quoted as saying: "Jared is an old friend... 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."