While he may have jumped into the franchise realm with his turn as The Joker in Suicide Squad, Oscar-winning actor Jared Leto is keeping cozy with character-centric drama projects. Following in the footsteps of Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson was a mighty big task, but now Leto is setting his sights even higher as he’s signed on to play famous pop artist Andy Warhol in a new biopic. Per THR, Leto will star in and produce Warhol alongside The Social Network and Captain Philips producer Michael De Luca, with the duo aiming to craft a prestige mainstream project instead of a small indie biopic.
Boardwalk Empire and Vinyl creator Terence Winter, who also scripted The Wolf of Wall Street, is set to pen the screenplay, which will use Victor Bockris’ 1989 book Warhol: The Biography as a jumping off point.
The Pittsburgh-born artist came from a family of working class emigrants and developed hypochondria at a young age, eventually finding his calling as an artist during his time at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Warhol’s landmark work took aim directly at commercialism, using well-known imagery to comment on fame and consumerism. His life was one of eccentricity and a fame that transcended the art scene, rubbing elbows with a variety of personalities including President Jimmy Carter.
Leto, who won an Oscar for his supporting turn in Dallas Buyers Club, seems like a swell pick to bring Warhol to life. Himself an artist and multi-faceted performer, Leto takes his art very seriously, and one can only imagine the kind of stories that will result from his method acting turn as Warhol.
The project is not yet set up at a studio, but Leto is the cornerstone of this project and nabbing Winter to pen the screenplay will no doubt attract even more high-profile talent. It’ll be interesting to see how the cast fills out and what points of Warhol’s life the film will tackle, although Leto has another memorable Warhol portrayal to overcome in Bill Hader’s underrated turn as the artist in Men in Black 3.
After resurfacing as an actor in Dallas Buyers Club, Leto has taken a more prolific path to acting as of late. His turn as The Joker in Suicide Squad is not his last, as he’s signed to a multi-picture contract with Warner Bros. to appear throughout the DC Extended Universe. And he’s currently filming a key role in Denis Villeneuve’s secretive untitled Blade Runner sequel. Given that Leto is a method actor and takes a certain amount of time to devote to each role, one imagines Warhol will be a pretty massive undertaking.