Hugh Hefner Biopic Resurrected At Warner Bros.
Hugh Hefner is usually the star of whatever show he's part of, but he'll be turning in a supporting role-- and be played by James Franco, no less-- in the upcoming Linda Lovelace biopic Lovelace, which stars Amanda Seyfried as the famous porn star. But don't worry too long about Hef and his smoking jacket stepping out of the spotlight. After languishing in development at Universal for years, a biopic about the iconic Playboy founder has found new life at Warner Bros., with equally iconic producer Jerry Weintraub now attached to produce.
The news at Deadline appears to come from Weintraub himself, though he's remaining tight-lipped about the details, not even confirming if Harrry Potter writer Steve Kloves was on board for the script. It also seems safe to assume that none of the big names that circled around the project at Universal-- ranging from Tom Cruise to Robert Downey Jr.-- are still involved. Though Downey Jr. would still be pretty perfect in the role, he's also very much in-demand and very expensive; if we think of Hefner like a brand similar to Transformers or Marvel superheroes, Warner Bros. will sell this movie based on that name, not whichever actor plays him. They don't strictly have to get a huge A-list star, so why would they pay for it?
Of course, Weintraub may have something completely different up his sleeve, and as the producer of everything from Robert Altman's Nashville to the Ocean's Eleven movies, he's clearly got a fondness for movie stars as it is. There's no word on when Playboy may be ready to go into production again, but we'll keep you posted all the same.
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