The late designer's company announced in an Oct. 6 Instagram post that it's partnering with the actor to co-create a movie about Lagerfeld that "will celebrate his life and legacy." The brand noted Leto will not only star in the film but also produce it along with Emma Ludbrook through their company Paradox.
"Karl has always been an inspiration to me," Leto said in a quote shared by the House of Karl Lagerfeld. "He was a true polymath, an artist, an innovator, a leader and, most importantly, a kind man."
So what aspects of Lagerfeld's life will the movie explore? While exact details are still under wraps, the organization noted "the film will cover the key relationships in Karl Lagerfeld's life, told through an unpredictable lens, much like the man himself."
And it looks like the filmmakers will be working alongside some of the individuals who knew him best.
According to the House of Karl Lagerfeld, Pier Paolo Righi, who was CEO for the Maison Karl Lagerfeld for 10 years; Caroline Lebar, who "worked closely with Karl Lagerfeld as an advisor for both his brand and personal communications for over 38 years;" and Sebastien Jondeau, who "served as his personal assistant and bodyguard for over 20 years," will executive produce the film, with the company referring to them as "trusted confidants of the fashion icon" and "a true #TeamKARL family."
Before Lagerfeld's death at the age of 85 in February 2019, he and Leto were friends and the Oscar winner attended several of his runway shows. In fact, the Dallas Buyers Club star told Women's Wear Daily, the first time they met, he said to the former creative director for Chanel and Fendi, "You know, one day I have to play you in a movie," to which Lagerfeld reportedly replied, "Only you darling, only you."
And Leto thinks Lagerfeld would approve of the film. "I feel like this is a full-circle moment," he told the outlet, which was first to report the movie news, "and Karl would be proud of what we are doing."
So how does Leto feel about playing Lagerfeld? "My role is to portray him on screen as honestly as possible," he added. "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."
Lagerfeld's legacy is being honored in more ways than one. In addition to the film, the Met Gala is paying tribute to him with its 2023 theme and accompanying exhibit. The Metropolitan Museum of Art will host an exhibit called "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line of Beauty," that will "explore the artistic methodology and stylistic vocabulary of Karl Lagerfeld's designs through recurring themes across more than 65 years, from the 1950s to his final collection in 2019."