After learning back in April that director Danny Boyle (28 Days Later, Slumdog Millionaire) was eyeing Leonardo DiCaprio for an upcoming biopic centered on Apple’s Steve Jobs, news remained stagnant for the following six months. Now, we know a couple of things: DiCaprio is out of the running to star as the late inventor, and four pretty big names are now in the running for it.
According to a piece from The Hollywood Reporter, Sony Pictures has narrowed its choices down to four marquee actors to play the influential entrepreneur: Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper. While it’s true that actors of this caliber would likely be sought for any project, the names being floated may indicate a desire for a level of prestige and outside interest generated by this kind of casting in order to actively move forward with the project. Part of this may also be in an attempt to distance this new project from the pre-existing biopic Jobs, which premiered at 2013’s Sundance Film Festival and starred Ashton Kutcher in the title role. The reaction to that film was mixed, but turned a profit in worldwide ticket sales and still actively streams on Netflix.
This new project seems to have a bit more going for it than the Kutcher-led effort, though, largely on the side behind the camera. Before Boyle came on as director, it was David Fincher that was going to be bringing it to life, and its source material is the widely-acclaimed biography of Jobs written by Walter Isaacson. Adapting that book into a screenplay is the job of Aaron Sorkin, creator of acclaimed shows like “The West Wing” and “The Newsroom.” Sorkin has stated in the past that in addition to the book, the plot will also be derived from his own brand of exhaustive research in addition to, and sometimes instead of, elements of the book. Unlike the Kutcher film, the Sony project features Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak as a “consultant” on the film, who was very vocal about his distaste for the previous effort’s screenplay.
If Sony is serious about realizing the casting they’re hoping for, they may have to get in line. Affleck seems to be solidly booked for awhile, as he’s still shooting Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and is expected to star in WB’s The Accountant before directing his next film in July of 2015. Matt Damon is getting ready to shoot a film called The Martian imminently, and is being aggressively pursued by Universal to return as Jason Bourne. While we don’t currently know of any impending projects for Bale (Fincher’s first choice for the role during his brief stint as director) and Cooper, their respective statures have grown to a place where they now generally have their pick of any part that comes along, and it may take some convincing — as well as a small fortune — to get either actor on board. In the meantime, check out our recap of footage from Bale’s upcoming Exodus: Gods and Kings, as well as Cooper’s brand new trailer for American Sniper.
For more as it develops on Sony’s Steve Jobs project, be sure to keep your eye on GeekNation as this story develops!
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