Jared Leto is to star as the Playboy mogul Hugh Hefnerin a forthcoming biopic by director Brett Ratner.

Oscar-winning actor Leto will don silk pyjamas and smoking jacket to play Hefner, who passed away at the Playboy Mansion on September 27.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter Ratner said: "When he heard I got the rights to Hef's story, he (Leto) 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."

This biopic has been in development for a number years with Robert Downey Jr. previously slated to play Hefner.

Earlier this year, Ratner invited Leto to the Playboy Mansion for the premiere of Amazon's docu-series American Playboy: The Hugh Hefner Story, which doubled as a birthday celebration for Hefner who was turning 91.

Ratner had hoped to introduce Leto to the man he'd be playing on the big screen, but Hefner was in failing health and not greeting guests that day.

But Ratner isn't worried. "There's enough footage on Hef out there that Jared will be able to get as much information as he wants," he said

Leto can currently be seen in Blade Runner 2049

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