Jared Leto to Star as Late Fashion Designer Karl Lagerfeld in New Biopic

Jared Leto, Karl Lagerfeld
Jared Leto, Karl Lagerfeld

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty

Jared Leto is bringing his love for fashion to the screen.

On Thursday, Women's Wear Daily revealed that the Oscar winner will lead as the late German fashion designer and industry titan Karl Lagerfeld, who died of pancreatic cancer at 85 in February 2019, in a new biopic.

The feature film will be produced by Leto and his partner Emma Ludbrook through their production company Paradox while partnering with the Karl Lagerfeld fashion house, according to the outlet.

"I feel like this is a full-circle moment and Karl would be proud of what we are doing," Leto shared with WWD on portraying the former creative director of Chanel.

Leto has appointed three of Lagerfeld's confidants — CEO of Karl Lagerfeld Pier Paolo Righi, senior vice president of the house's image and communications Caroline Lebar, and Lagerfeld's personal assistant and bodyguard Sébastien Jondeau — as executive producers.

The film has yet to announce a director yet the storyline will capture "key relationships in Karl Lagerfeld's life, told through an unpredictable lens, much like the man himself," his eponymous label told WWD.

"My role is to portray him on screen as honestly as possible," Leto continued, which he hopes will dive into the dimensional character of the famous style icon.

RELATED: Fashion Industry Icon Karl Lagerfeld Dies at 85

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.
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.

Rindoff/Dufour/Getty


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The Golden Globe winner, 50, has cemented himself in Hollywood's sartorial world before, previously portraying Paolo Gucci in the 2021 crime drama House of Gucci.

Leto has also pushed the envelope with his red carpet style, notably at the Met Gala where he's literally doubled down and made headlines with his avant-garde ensembles.

RELATED: Jared Leto and Gucci's Alessandro Michele Twin in Cream Tweed Tuxes on the 2022 Met Gala Carpet

The news of the biopic also comes at great timing, coinciding with the big reveal of the 2023 Met Gala theme, which will center around Lagerfeld and his innovative work.

Titled "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty," the exhibit will showcase around 150 of Lagerfeld's greatest outfits across his prolific six decade career — designs he made while working for brands like Balmain, Patou, Chloé, Fendi, Chanel and his own eponymous label, according to a press release from the Met.

Chanel : Front Row - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear  Spring/Summer 2014
Chanel : Front Row - Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2014

Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images

RELATED: Met Gala 2023 Theme Will Center Around Late Designer Karl Lagerfeld

Andrew Bolton, head curator of the Met Costume Institute, was inspired by Lagerfeld's archival sketches, which will accompany most of the outfits on display.

"Every single design in his life was a sketch," Bolton told CNN after the announcement. "And when I saw the drawings, I thought, 'These are so charming, so whimsical, so impressionistic.' But what I didn't realize was that they contained really precise information — about a shoulder line or the length of a sleeve. And (his staff) knew exactly what this line meant or what that dot meant, and they could decode it."