Jared Leto will portray Andy Warhol, or Andrew Warhola, in the upcoming film about the artirst's life. Image Source: ET

Recently praised – but also harshly criticized) for his performance as the Joker in Suicide Squad, Jared Leto was reportedly cast to portray America’s foremost visual art exponent and controversial figure  Andy Warhol.

The casting was first announced by Borys Kit at The Hollywood Reporter, noting that he will also be producing the film. The screenplay will be drafted by Terence Winter (Boardwalk Empire, The Wolf of Wall Street, Vinyl) and loosely referenced by Victor Bockris’ 1989 paperback, Warhol: The Biography.

Also, Michael De Luca (The Social Network, Captain Phillips), will take on other duties for the production of Warhol’s biopic. Leto’s casting as Warhol was apparently in the works already, before the movie was even sure to happen. Winter reportedly acquired the rights to the above publication along with De Luca and, as the article states; they both “had a desire to partner on a project for some time now.”

What can we expect from Leto’s Warhol?

Warhol won’t probably be a challenge for Jared Leto regarding who has portrayed the character before him. Jared Harris’ performance (I Shot Andy Warhol, 1996) has been hailed as the best yet, even in front of David Bowie’s portrayal of the character in Basquiat (also from 1996).

Both actors retain a niche in the public’s memory as Warhol but still leave a lot of room for new interpretations of the founder of The Factory and creator of pop-art. Besides, Leto has a lot going for him: a certain physical resemblance that trumps Harris’ but not Bowie’s and experience playing openly LGBT characters, something that landed him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in Dallas Buyers Club (2013).

One of Warhol's iconic type of paint, this one featuring John Lennon's face. Image Source: Pinterest
One of Warhol’s iconic type of paint, this one featuring John Lennon’s face. Image Source: Pinterest

Another skill in Leto’s repertoire is the portrayal of a real-life character, something he did well in Prefontaine (1997). The movie from the 90s was another biopic about the life of American long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine. Ten years later, Leto didn’t do so well (according to some critics) with the portraying of John Lennon’s killer in Chapter 27 (2007).

The movie’s reviews were mostly mixed: some critics praised Leto for his methodical approach to the role, which was not only physical but mental as well.

His casting as the Joker is still generating controversy amongst fans of the character, though some have attributed its biggest flaws to a dull script, rather than to Leto’s work. Most people agree, however, that he was still on an entirely different level to Heath Ledger’s Joker, who arguably revolutionized the role. Warhol’s other production dates and casting choices remain, as of yet, unannounced.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter