Miracle? Apocalypse? Jared Leto to Star as Andy Warhol in Biopic


If the above image doesn’t say it all already, here’s some film news for you to take in: Jared Leto will be playing Andy Warhol in an upcoming biopic. For Leto fans, this will surely present yet another opportunity for the actor to prove the immensity of his transformative prowess; for people who never want to hear about his transformative prowess again after the overblown lead-up to Suicide Squad and discussion of his method acting that saw him sending things like an opened condom and a live rat to his collaborators, it’s yet another opportunity for Leto to ham it up and potentially do an injustice to a great artist. And for people who think that both Leto and Warhol are overrated, this may very well be apocalypse. (Or, on the flip-side, an explosively funny double negative.) Regardless of your opinion, given this particular combining of artists, it seems almost guaranteed that you’ll have an opinion.

So, some details about this thing. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Warhol biopic in question sees Leto, who’ll star and also produce, teaming up with Sopranos writer/Boardwalk Empire creator Terence Winter (who’ll write the screenplay, basing it in part off the 1989 book by Victor Bockris, Warhol: The Biography, which bills itself as the “definitive chronicle” of the artist’s life, covering his career that “encompassed the underground scene as well as the equally deviant worlds of politics, show business, and high society.”) 50 Shades/The Social Network producer Michael de Luca will likewise be producing — as, according to THR‘s sources, both Leto and de Luca had been planning a collaboration and got rights to the aforementioned book together.

(As a side note, THR writes that the role of the openly gay artist “seems tailor-made for Leto, who won an Oscar for playing a gay man dying from AIDS in 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club” — and it needs clarifying that Jared Leto did not play a gay man, but rather Rayon, a trans woman, in Dallas Buyers Club.)

Like the Joker, a great deal of actors have already given their takes on Warhol — Guy Pearce in Factory Girl, Jared Harris in I Shot Andy Warhol, Greg Travis in Watchmen, David Bowie in Basquiat, Bill Hader in Men in Black 3 and Crispin Glover in The Doors. It’s an interesting (and pretty widespread, icon-status wise) list Leto will be added to, with previous depictions in films ranging from comic book movie to alien movie to biopics about other people who crossed paths with Warhol — but this is the first biopic of the sort that’s centrally about the pop artist.