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No joke: Jared Leto to co-produce, star in upcoming Andy Warhol biopic

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From The Joker to Andy Warhol, Jared Leto is certainly having an interesting year.

The Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club and Suicide Squad actor will reportedly co-produce and star in an upcoming biopic of celebrated artist Warhol, whose pop art based on American consumerism made him an entertainment icon in the 1960s. The film’s script will be penned by Oscar nominee Terence Winter, who wrote the screenplay for The Wolf of Wall Street and won Primetime Emmy Awards for his work on The Sopranos.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Warhol biopic is envisioned as a mainstream, high-profile production rather than a low-budget indie film about the artist’s life, and will be based on Victor Bockris’ 1989 book Warhol: The Biography.

One of the originators of the “pop art” movement, Warhol use various types of media to explore the relationship between commercial culture, celebrity, and artistic expression in the 1960s. His studio in New York City — dubbed “The Factory” — was a popular (and somewhat infamous) gathering place for artists, their patrons, and their groupies during those years, and his art ranks among some of the most expensive pieces ever sold. The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is the largest museum dedicated to a single artist in the United States.

Joining Leto as a producer on the Warhol biopic is Michael De Luca, the producer on Oscar-nominated biopic hits The Social Network, Captain Phillips, and Moneyball (based on the experiences of Oakland A’s coach Billy Beane).

Leto won’t be the first person to portray Warhol in a big-screen feature. Crispin Glover played Warhol in Oliver Stone’s 1991 film The Doors, and musician David Bowie portrayed him in Julian Schnabel’s 1996 film Basquiat. He was also brought to the screen by Jared Harris in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol.

Among the other actors to portray Warhol are Bill Hader (in Men in Black 3), Mark Bringleson (Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery), Guy Pearce (Factory Girl), and Greg Travis (Watchmen).

There’s no official word on when Leto’s biopic of Warhol will begin production or hit theaters.

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