In what feels like a prank of an announcement, Jared Leto will star as Hugh Hefner in a biopic produced and directed by Brett Ratner. That team-up is a perfect storm designed specifically to make me throw up inside my mouth. Let’s analyze the perfection:
Depending on who you ask, Hugh Hefner was either a pioneer of sexual liberation and body positivity, or an exploitative “pimp” who damaged countless women’s lives and heavily contributed to our rigid, often artificial beauty standards and the blurred line between sexuality and objectification.
Jared Leto, depending on who you ask, is a brilliant, Oscar-winning actor, or a creepy hack who exploited and demeaned the transgender experience and relies on disturbing, disrespectful tricks as a bastardization of “method acting.”
Brett Ratner, well … I think Brett Ratner is sleazy no matter who you talk to. From his homophobic slurs and his racist objectification of Olivia Munn, to his blaming of critics and Rotten Tomatoes for the shittiness of his movies, I can’t think of anyone better suited to bringing forth this movie.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, it took years to land this gross of a trifecta. Ratner acquired the rights to Hef’s story in 2007 and wanted Robert Downey Jr. to play the role. Then he lost the rights to producer Jerry Weintraub (Westworld, Ocean’s 11), but when Weintraub died in 2015, Ratner bought back. When Leto heard, he told Ratner, “I want to play him. I want to understand him.”
I’m just gonna drop this right here.
There’s no mention of a screenwriter, but whoever ends up writing will have a high bar of sleaze to clear.
And just in case the Ratner-Leto pairing isn’t enough to make your skin crawl, here’s what Ratner put out there as his vision: “My goal is to do the motion picture as an event.”
I don’t know what that means but I can’t wait to never see it.
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