Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

Warner Bros. Takes Over Universal's Hugh Hefner Biopic 'Playboy'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist March 5, 2012 at 10:13PM

That a feature film biopic hasn't yet been made about one of the most important cultural icons of the last half century certainly hasn't been without a lack of trying. Way back in 2007, Universal and Brett Ratner were planning to make "Playboy," a film about the magazine's founder Hugh Hefner, but it never got in front of cameras. The project never seemed to gain forward momentum, even with guys like Robert Downey Jr. and Hugh Jackman at one time or another kicking the tires on the lead role. But the project now has fresh life, as it has flipped the page over to another studio.
0
Hugh Hefner

That a feature film biopic hasn't yet been made about one of the most important cultural icons of the last half century certainly hasn't been without a lack of trying. Way back in 2007, Universal and Brett Ratner were planning to make "Playboy," a film about the magazine's founder Hugh Hefner, but it never got in front of cameras. The project never seemed to gain forward momentum, even with guys like Robert Downey Jr. and Hugh Jackman at one time or another kicking the tires on the lead role. But the project now has fresh life, as it has flipped the page over to another studio.

Warner Bros. is taking on "Playboy" with producer Jerry Weintraub (the "Ocean's Eleven" trilogy, Steven Soderbergh's upcoming "Behind The Candelabra") lending his talents to the movie. But right now, that's about all we know. There's no word yet on the scope of the project, or what time period it will zero in on. But it's likely it will focus on the '60s and '70s, when Hefner was at the height of his powers. At one time, he was a powerful force in print, on televsion and even in music, giving airtime to artists on his show "Playboy After Dark" that would not get exposure anywhere else (James Brown was an early guest when it was unheard of to book black performers on television). Hefner was also a vocal supporter for civil rights, and of course, as the head of a magazine that made nude women a centerpiece, he was a symbol for free speech (whether you liked him or not). Finally, you know that old joke about people reading Playboy for the articles? Well, they often did, with a number of noted journalists and photographers contributing through the years.

But all this comes at a curious time for the Playboy brand. Increasingly seeming out of touch, the Playboy clubs popped up in the most recent season of "Mad Men," but NBC's show "The Playboy Club" crashed and burned hard. Whether audiences really want to see a movie about the man remains to be seen. But with the right casting and director this could be sizzling piece of work. Word is that a new screenwriter will tackle the material, so we'll see how this goes. But until this arrives, give the documentary "Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Rebel, Activist" a spin. It's a pretty great overview of his importance and impact, particulary in the early days. [Deadline]

This article is related to: Warner Brothers, Playboy


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates