Playboy places Brett Ratner-directed Hugh Hefner biopic on hold

Playboy is placing its business relationship with Brett Ratner on hold in response to allegations from six women of sexual harassment and misconduct.

Jared Leto is set to star in Ratner’s long-planned biopic of the late Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. Ratner is also developing a reboot of the late-1960s variety-talk mash-up Playboy After Dark.

“We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner,” said a Playboy Enterprises spokesperson. “We find this kind of behavior completely unacceptable. We are putting all further development of our projects with RatPac Entertainment on hold until we are able to review the situation further.”

On Wednesday morning, the Los Angeles Times published a report detailing a range of accusations in private homes, at industry events and on movie sets that took place over a period of years. Among the women speaking out were Olivia Munn and Natasha Henstridge.

Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer “categorically” disputed the accounts.

Warner Bros. subsequently announced that it’s reviewing a $450-million co-financing deal with RatPac. Ratner had spent years pursuing the Hefner project, first with Brian Grazer as executive producer and at one point with Robert Downey Jr. attached to star.

“It’s like making a movie about Walt Disney,” he explained of the challenging scope of the biopic in a July interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Hefner’s death at 91 on Sept. 27 was marked by a fierce debate about his and Playboy’s treatment of women, with critics decrying the relationship as, on the whole, oppressive and retrograde.

This story originally appeared on The Hollywood Reporter.

[photo: AP]

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