Imagine does bunny hop

Grazer sees 'treasure trove' in Playboy archives

Playboy Magazine is unlocking its archives for Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment.

Playboy Enterprises subsid Alta Loma Entertainment has finalized a deal with U and Imagine granting them archival rights to 48 years of material from the pages of Playboy as source material for new feature films.

Imagine co-chairs Brian Grazer and Ron Howard have displayed an interest in the Playboy story since acquiring the rights to develop a feature film about Playboy founder Hugh M. Hefner more than a year ago.

“For almost 50 years, Playboy magazine has served as the birthplace of source material for numerous movies, TV shows and plays,” Grazer said. “But we think there’s still a lot of gold left to be mined from those archives. They’re a veritable treasure trove of really great movie ideas.”

Alta Loma chair Richard S. Rosenzweig said, “Playboy has been the genesis of a host of major feature films and television productions and has a plethora of as-yet-untapped archival resources.”

Deal covers material dating back to the magazine’s launch in 1953. An icon of the sexual revolution, Playboy was for years the final word on fashion, beauty and sex, distinguished equally by racy pictorials, madcap satire, short stories, articles and excerpts from books by a range of writers, including Ray Bradbury, John Irving and Larry McMurtry.

Such films as “The World According to Garp,” “The Hustler” and “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” were based on material that first appeared in Playboy.

Imagine has several films on U’s release slate in the months ahead, including “Undercover Brother,” “Blue Crush” and “8 Mile.”

Alta Loma Entertainment creates branded and nonbranded feature films, TV series and specials, live entertainment and music events for Playboy.

Jill Liberman will supervise the Imagine/Playboy archival project for Alta Loma.