It seems impossible to consider after all the sketchy relations with women old enough to be his great-grandchildren, but Hugh Hefner was hero to many. Playboy for a lot of guys was–absolutely no pun intended–a handbook on how men could live and it provided a standard of female beauty.
You might be OK with that legacy. Or you might find it repulsive. Regardless of your feelings, it’s good fodder for a movie. The idea of a Hefner movie has been tossed around for a while. Now, we’re getting somewhere. Veteran director David Dobkin (best known for “Wedding Crashers“) is on board to direct the Warner Bros. project, according to Variety. Peter Morgan, the ace screenwriter of Rush and Frost/Nixon, is writing the script.
Dobkin might seem like a pretty pedestrian choice. Consider this: He directed the bro-friendly comedy The Change Up, which aside from being funny was surprisingly touching. And Morgan is one of the best screenwriters working today, a guy who doesn’t coast on flash. Rush was a race car movie, but it really was a keen character study of two driven competitors. This could work.
The key component here is who’s going to play Hefner. Going off the top of my head, Leonardo DiCaprio, George Clooney, and Robert Downey Jr. could make the role work. Believe it or not, a big star did play America’s favorite dirty old man: James Franco appeared briefly as Hefner in this year’s awful Lovelace.