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Jared Leto to play late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld

The film is still in the early stages of development and a director is not yet attached, although it does come with the backing of the Karl Lagerfeld fashion hous

Jared Leto is adding to his litany of iconic film roles as he’ll be playing Karl Lagerfeld in a new biopic.

The 50-year-old Hollywood star will portray the late fashion designer, who was the creative director of Chanel and Fendi, in the movie that he is also set to produce with Emma Ludbrook for their company Paradox.

The film is still in the early stages of development and a director is not yet attached, although it does come with the backing of the Karl Lagerfeld fashion house.

It is said to chronicle ‘key relationships in Lagerfeld’s life, told through an unpredictable lens, much like the man himself.’

Leto, a master of movie transformations, is known for his wide raft of roles including the Joker in Suicide Squad, Paolo Gucci in House of Gucci and Rayon in Dallas Buyer’s Club.

Of his next acting venture, he told Women’s Wear Daily: ‘I feel like this is a full-circle moment, and Karl would be proud of what we are doing.

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 08: (L-R) Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and Actor Jared Leto pose backstage after the Chanel show as part of Paris Fashion Week - Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015. Held at Grand Palais on July 8, 2014 in Paris, France. (Photo by Rindoff/Dufour/Getty Images)
Jared is keen to tell Lagerfeld’s story well and ‘portray him as honestly as possible’ (Picture: Getty Images Europe)

‘Karl was an artist. Period. He was a fashion designer, he was a photographer, he was an artist. There was no defining him. He was a creative powerhouse.’

‘There are a multitude of relationships to explore,’ Leto added.

‘Karl had a career that spanned 50-plus years, so both personally and professionally he was close to a number of people. I can say we are going to home in on key relationships that convey different parts of his life.’

The late German designer was a giant of the fashion world who was credited with revitalising Chanel when he took over as creative director in 1983.

Regarded as one of the most important fashion visionaries of the 20th and 21st centuries, he was known for wearing sunglasses and a black suit with a white shirt, with his grey hair pulled back into a ponytail, as well as often being accompanied by his beloved cat Choupette.

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 01: (EDITORS NOTE: This image has been retouched) Fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld poses in front of his works before the Chanel show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2014, held at Grand Palais on October 1, 2013 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
Lagerfeld ,who died in 2019, was a fashion powerhouse and the boss of Chanel from 1983 (Picture: Bertrand Rindoff Petroff /Getty)

He died at the age of 85 in February 2019 and, while the fashion world mourned his death and recognised his undeniable impact, others called out his negative influence, with Jameela Jamil describing him as a ‘fat-phobic misogynist’.

Animal rights group Peta also hailed the ‘end of an era when fur and exotic skins were seen as covetable’ after his death.

Leto has reportedly brought three of Lagerfeld’s close confidants – including his fashion house chief executive Pier Paolo Righi – to serve as executive producers on the movie.

The Morbius star said of Lagerfeld that he intends to ‘portray him on screen as honestly as possible’ and that he is ‘always interested in seeing what’s behind the mask’.

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