Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic has lost its star once again. A couple of months ago, Leonardo DiCaprio was being eyed to take on the role of Apple founder Steve Jobs in Sony’s Aaron Sorkin-scripted feature. While it took the studio a while to find a director (David Fincher briefly flirted with the gig), they finally signed Danny Boyle to the project, and it was looking like a reteaming with his The Beach star was in the cards. DiCaprio never entered formal negotiations to take on the part, and he subsequently left the project, deciding that it would be cutting it too close to finish working on the drama The Revenant and move right into the ambitious role of Steve Jobs. Quickly, though, the part came back around to Christian Bale, who was previously Fincher’s choice for the part.
Just over a week ago, Sorkin “confirmed” Bale’s casting and noted that the actor was going to crush the role. Unfortunately, Bale has now decided to back out of the project as well. More after the jump.
Per THR, Bale has opted to withdraw from Sony’s untitled Steve Jobs biopic. The report notes that Bale decided he was not right for the role “after much deliberation and conflicted feelings.” Indeed, this is not a straightforward biopic in the traditional sense, as it is essentially comprised of three lengthy scenes set before the launch of three major Apple products. Sorkin’s script uses the launch of the Mac, NeXT, and the iPod to delve into Job’s life, and Sorkin recently noted that the role calls for “more words to say in this movie than most people have in three movies combined.”
Bale is undoubtedly one of the most talented actors working today, but I always thought he was a bit of an odd choice for the role of Steve Jobs. The project had been on track to begin shooting this winter, and Boyle recently arrived in Los Angeles to start meeting with actors about other parts–Seth Rogen is in discussions to play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.
It’s unclear how Bale’s departure will affect Rogen’s casting and the shooting schedule, but hopefully they find a suitable replacement soon. It’s clear this is a very difficult role, so somebody’s gotta be up for a challenge. Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper, and Ben Affleck previously surfaced as possible replacements when DiCaprio departed, so it’s possible one of them may now wind up taking on the role. This script marks Sorkin’s first solo feature since winning the Oscar for The Social Network (he did significant rewrite work on Moneyball in concert with Steven Zaillian, but Jobs is Sorkin’s from inception), so I’m incredibly eager to see what he’s put together.