Morgan to tackle Hefner?
Peter Morgan is in talks to write a biographical script about the legendary Hugh Hefner, apparently the same Hefner project that has been talked about for so long and has never yet made it to film. That would be the one that once had Brett Ratner attached to direct and at one point Robert Downey Jr. set to play Hefner himself.
The news that Peter Morgan is looking at writing the script would suggest that this is going to be more than the Ratner directed version suggested. Considering the scripts Morgan has written already about famous people this isn't going to be a glossy, photoshop cover approach.
Peter Morgan has written scripts the deal with Henry VIII, Idi Amin to a degree in The Last King of Scotland (Filmstalker review), The Queen of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth, David Frost and Richard Nixon in Frost/Nixon (Filmstalker review), Brian Clough in The Damned United, Tony Blair in The Queen and The Special Relationship, and now James Hunt and Niki Lauda in Rush. Not all of these scripts have been how those featured in them would have preferred and most distinctly in the case of Blair and of Clough have been very honest and real.
It would also suggest that a film about Hugh Hefner with Peter Mogran writing would be just as honest and open and wouldn't feel like a Playboy cover and more one of the in-depth articles that don't tend to get read.
Hugh Hefner's life has been an interesting one and he came from being a copywriter for Esquire where he left after failing to secure a five dollar raise and managed to get the funds together to start Playboy in December 1953, an issue which featured the nude Marilyn Monroe calendar shoot and which made the magazine instantly famous.
There has been a lot of controversy in his career; in 1955 he published a story about a world where straight men were being persecuted as homosexuality was the norm and spoke out in defence of it, in 1963 he was arrested for his magazine containing nude pictures of Jayne Mansfield, and in 1975 after his former secretary was found dead with an overdose publicly claimed there was a movement against him by the government over Playboy and the attitudes towards sex and drugs.
A couple of documentaries have already been made about the man but a biographical film will most likely focus on one or two events of his life, as previous Morgan scripts have done, and may pick out one of these controversial moments to build a dramatic story around.
Still, dramatised or not, we can be sure that Morgan's script will look into Hugh Hefner the man, the effect that Playboy has had on society and reveal much more than the documentaries have to date. Here's hoping anyway.
The Hollywood Reporter through The Guardian has the story that Peter Morgan is in talks for the writing role and it appears that Hugh Hefner himself tweeted that Morgan had met with him and they had a good chat about a potential film.
I'm sure there's enough material in that man's life for a number of films!