It is little wonder that the project Warners has scooped up had previously been doomed to failure. It originated at Universal, where the studio tried in vain for several years to tell the story of the magazine as a bastion of free speech and a champion of civil rights, with the initially puritanical Hefner becoming the unlikely champion of sexual freedom.
Unsurprisingly, the film’s premise slipped through the fidgety fingers of guilt-addled, sex-deprived producers at Universal into Warner’s capable hands.
Talking of old icons, Jerry Weintraub, the Ocean’s Eleven producer who had previously promoted Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and Bob Dylan is keen to tell the story of the lascivious legend, but has refused to disclose which parts of Hefner’s life he will be covering.
He is also being shady about who will play the Hef. Robert Downey Jr and Hugh Jackman had been possibilities in the original project, but they may have bailed when it languished. Hopefully Warners won’t make such a boob out of things.