Jared Leto to Play Late Chanel Designer Karl Lagerfeld in Biopic

Jared Leto is set to star in and produce a biopic of Karl Lagerfeld, the legendary glove-wearing fashion designer and former artistic director of Chanel, who died in February 2019.

The Oscar winner is set to play Lagerfeld and will also produce the feature with Emma Ludbrook through their production company Paradox.

“I feel like this is a full-circle moment, and Karl would be proud of what we are doing,” Leto told Women’s Wear Daily, Billboard‘s sister publication that first broke the news. “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.”


Still in the early stages of development and with a director not yet attached, there are few details about the film, although it does come with the backing of the Karl Lagerfeld fashion house, which told WWD it chronicles “key relationships in Karl Lagerfeld’s life, told through an unpredictable lens, much like the man himself.”

Added Leto: “There are a multitude of relationships to explore. 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 actor has reportedly brought on board three of Lagerfeld’s close confidants: his fashion house chief executive Pier Paolo Righi, senior vp image and communications Caroline Lebar, and personal assistant and bodyguard Sébastien Jondeau. All three will serve as exec producers.

“My role is to portray him on screen as honestly as possible,” Leto continued of Lagerfeld. “With celebrity, most people don’t get to see under the surface. They see one or two facets of a person as presented through a public lens. Karl was a human being. We all have beauty within us and we all have faults. We have masks and then we have moments when we reveal the mask. I’m always interested in seeing what’s behind the mask.”

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Katie Atkinson