More than a decade ago, would-be Hugh Hefner figure Brett Ratner attempted to take his hero’s story to the screen, with plans for an Oscar-bait biopic tracking Hefner’s rise from conservative Midwesterner to human scrotum-king. That project fell apart, but the time is apparently finally right for Hefner’s pajama-clad, blacklight-reactive story to be told, with Deadline reporting that Ratner is once again spearheading plans to bring a movie about the publisher to theaters.
Ratner’s film is actually the second Hefner project to be announced recently; just today, Amazon debuted American Playboy, its 10-part documentary on Hefner’s life. It’s not clear why, exactly, everyone’s rushing around right now with a raging desire to tell Hefner’s story, unless Playboy’s recent decision to start publishing nude photos again has simply got them turgid with its filmmaking possibilities.
Ratner—seen above, fondling the Playboy-published Big Butt Book—spurted out his praise for Hefner today, saying in a statement, “Hugh Hefner started a sexual revolution from behind the walls of his legendary mansion by using the pages of Playboy Magazine and his own infamous lifestyle to build a global empire that included publishing, clubs, casinos and television networks.” Ratner’s film will apparently focus not on Hefner’s current existence as a still-living sex ghost, haunting the palatial fuck castle he soon will no longer actually own, but on the rise of Playboy, and its contentious, admittedly fascinating impact on the cultural landscape of the 1950s and ’60s.