They say art is what you can get away with, and Jared Leto is betting he can get away with playing iconic artist Andy Warhol. Leto has acquired the rights to produce and star in a new biopic about the famed pop art luminary.
Alongside producer Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Moneyball), Leto scooped up the rights to the 1989 book Warhol: The Biography by Victor Bockris. Screenwriter Terence Winter (The Wolf of Wall Street, Boardwalk Empire) will use the biography as a starting point for the new feature, entitled simply Warhol.
Warhol shot to fame in the 1960s with his artistic bridging of celebrity culture, advertisement, and consumerism in images such as Campbell’s Soup I and Eight Elvises. His New York city studio, The Factory, became as famous for the string of celebrities, intellectuals, Bohemians, and odd members of society that came into it as for the artwork that came out.
Not limited to just painting, Warhol’s work included film and music, and he managed and “produced” (read: paid for studio time for) The Velvet Underground. He also designed the album artwork for The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers and Love You Live, Aretha Franklin’s Aretha, and John Cale’s The Academy in Peril and Honi Soit.
Notably, Warhol was openly gay in a pre-gay liberation society when being so was relatively unheard of. Leto has handled such nuances before, having won an Oscar for playing a trans woman afflicted with AIDs in 2013’s Dallas Buyers Club. That is, if he hasn’t lost all grasp of subtlety after the method disaster that was the Joker.