Within hours of the Brett Ratner scandal breaking, it is now having an impact on projects with Playboy Enterprises putting their planned Ratner-directed biopic about Hugh Hefner on hold along with all other projects they have with Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment label.
Playboy Enterprises issued a statement telling Deadline: “We are deeply troubled to learn about the accusations against Brett Ratner. 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.”
Earlier this month the trades reported that Jared Leto was set to play Hefner in the film, but calls to his reps today confirm the Oscar-winning actor never had any attention to play Hefner. They tell the outlet:
“Jared Leto is not and was not attached to a Brett Ratner directed Hugh Hefner film, nor will he be working with him in the future. Earlier reports were incorrect and not confirmed by his representatives.”
Ratner has been set on directing a Hefner movie since 2007. Six women, including actresses such as Natasha Henstridge and Olivia Munn came forward in the Los Angeles Times accusing Ratner of sexual assault or misconduct. Munn’s allegation involved Ratner surprise masturbating in front of her in his trailer whilst holding a shrimp cocktail.
Additionally Arthur Sarkissian, a producer of the “Rush Hour” franchise, tells the outlet:
“I’m in a state of shock. I’ve known Bret for 22 years, maybe even 23, and he was best man at my wedding. I’m so sad and so disturbed right now because I don’t want this to be true. He’s a very likable guy. He is very loyal and has a heart of gold. I have never ever seen him grope, grab or do anything of the sort. Has he been flirtatious? Yes. I’ve seen him flirt, but I cannot believe what I’m reading. I cannot believe that he would stand there with a shrimp in one hand and … I just can’t believe it. I’m really horrified… I just can’t comprehend this. I’m sitting here asking if this could be true from someone I known for so long.”
Ratner is a co-founder of RatPac-Dune Entertainment which funds a bunch of the film slate of Warner Bros. Pictures. Warners, which has first-look deal with Ratner, said in a statement: “We are aware of the allegations in the LA Times and are reviewing the situation.”