Brett Ratner to Direct Playboy

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Brett Ratner is set to direct Playboy, the Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment film about the life of Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner, reports Variety. Brian Grazer is producing, and John Hoffman is writing the screenplay.

Making a film of Hefner’s long life as icon of the sexual revolution has proven difficult, but Ratner and Hoffman found a way to do it that pleased Grazer and the 81-year-old Hefner, who approved the take late last week in a meeting at the Playboy Mansion.

Ratner has completed Rush Hour 3 for an August 10 release. He has been working with Grazer on a Russell Gewirtz-scripted drama, conceived as a caper film in the spirit of Ocean’s Eleven, in which a group of employees of Manhattan’s Trump Tower rob its rich residents. Ratner and Grazer have Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock attached and hope to enlist Chris Tucker, Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx, Denzel Washington and Sidney Poitier. Trump has given his blessing and may appear in the film.

Ratner’s waiting for a rewrite, and Hoffman just began writing the Hefner film. The director next will shoot whichever one is ready.