Following several years of development at Universal, the proposed Hugh Hefner biopic Playboy, has moved studios. Warner Brothers has picked up the project after it has failed to get a greenlight at Universal. With the move comes Jerry Weintraub’s attachment to the project as a producer.
The film had been on the boards at Universal since at least 2005, when Scott Silver first drafted a screenplay. During that time, Brett Ratnerhad been attached to direct and the likes of Hugh Jackman and Robert Downey Jr were both touted as being considered to play the magazine publisher who served as one of the architects of the sexual revolution of the last half of the 20th century.
Weintraub seems like a good fit for this project. His resume stretches all the way back to working was a promoter for both Sinatra and Elvis in the 1960s, the time period when Playboy was exploding on to the national scene. He also oversaw Steven Soderbergh’s Ocean’s Eleven remake and its two sequels, all of which had a cool 60s vibe to them.
If you’re wondering why anyone should be interested in biopic on Hugh Hefner’s life, I would direct them to the documentary Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel. The film charts the rise of the magazine empire and how he used that as a pulpit to champion not only the sexual revolution but to fight for civil rights and First Amendment issues.
Deadline is the first to report the move of the film over to Warners and they also reported on a rumor that Harry Potter scripter Steve Kloves has been approached to take over writing chores though Weintraub denied the story.