Jared Leto as Hugh Hefner Directed by Brett Ratner: Why?

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Last week, Hugh Hefner, the ultimate icon for college dudes who have that poster of two white women making out in white shirts and underwear, died. He was a polarizing figure, between those who think sexual liberation and respect for women are mutually exclusive, people who “read it for the articles,” and brunettes, amirite? 


Naturally, the man who, among many sordid allegations, ran a dog shit-infested harem, who kept his girlfriends out of work and reliant on his allowance money, and who didn’t wear condoms, is the perfect complicated anti-hero to be the subject of a fancy biopic. And now one is on its way! Starring none other than Oscar-winning Suicide Squad personality Jared Leto, and directed by Brett Ratner—who, on the one hand, directed the iconic Rush Hour and the other iconic “We Belong Together” music video, but on the other hand, is set to direct a Hugh Hefner biopic.

Apparently, the film had been in development since 2007, and Robert Downey Jr. was set to play Hefner, a casting the real Hefner himself approved of because of course.


If you’re asking yourself, “Why?” or maybe “How?” here’s a quote Ratner gave to the Hollywood Reporter:

“Jared is an old friend,” says Ratner, 48, who will direct the 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.”

First of all, Hugh Hefner and the whole silk pajama playboy brand seems pretty easy to understand. Unless of course, 45-year-old (!!) Jared Leto really is an ageless alien monk like we all suspected, who truly knows nothing of the extremely pedestrian and human masculinity that pervades our culture and allows Donald Trump to brag about sexual assault and then win a presidential election. Oh, and that also allows Jared Leto to crash a SAG awards red carpet interview with Emilia Clarke and creepily keep his arm around her, not letting her leave when her interview was over. Maybe he really just is beyond that. Or maybe he should just do the whole movie in Joker character because that might be more palatable than a Hugh Hefner biopic?

I’m really, truly, looking forward to hearing about the antics that Leto will put his castmates through while staying in character during the entirety of filming. Here’s hoping he leaves the Viagra and the quaaludes Hefner loved so dearly out of it.

Isha is a staff reporter who covers pop culture, representation in media, and your new faves.