Normally known for comedies such as Wedding Crashers, The Change-Up and Fred Claus, David Dobkin is looking to strike out for a trip to Biopic Land. He’s now in talks to direct the Hugh Hefner biopic that has been in development for several years.
Warner Bros. is backing the film, which will chronicle Hef’s life from the days he founded Playboy magazine in 1953. It will cover both his journey as he built it into a media empire and the wild parties he threw at the Playboy mansion. Frost/Nixon’s Peter Morgan is aboard to write the script, tracking Hefner’s reputation as a bon vivant and mogul, and his swinging bachelor lifestyle, which saw him romancing more than one young woman who appeared in the pages of his publication.
Universal originally set the project up, but it lingered in development limbo until the studio threw it into turnaround, whereupon Warners pounced. Now the big challenge will be to find the right actor to play Hef at different periods of his life and who, vitally, looks good in silk pyjamas. Robert Downey Jr. was being courted at one point, and since Dobkin just worked with him on The Judge (set to arrive next year), could this lead to the man who is Tony Stark taking on another famous – and real, this time – public figure? We already know that Downey's Stark claims to know Hef, thanks to that Stan Lee cameo in the first Iron Man film. A more interesting challenge will be telling this story in a way that doesn't cause outrage in these times - so no pressure, Morgan.