Sony’s biopic of the late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (not to be confused with 2013’s Jobs, which starred Ashton Kutcher as the tech icon) has had a pretty eventful pre-production stage. Academy Award winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) has been on board since the project was first announced in 2011, but the film’s other principle players have been late in joining him to the party. Now, however, it seems as if the movie is finally coming into fruition.
Danny Boyle (127 Hours) is signed on to direct after David Fincher departed, and he’s currently on the hunt for his leading man. Back when Boyle came on board, it was reported that he was targeting Leonardo DiCaprio to take on the title role, but the actor has since dropped out of the running – citing a desire to take a break from acting. While one Oscar-nominee won’t play Jobs, Boyle may very well be able to attract an Oscar-winner instead.
The Hollywood Reporter is stating that Sony is starting negotiations with Christian Bale, who coincidentally enough was Fincher’s choice back when the Gone Girl director was in talks, to portray Jobs. Their sources say that Bale was initially in talks to star in The Deep Blue Goodbye – a potential franchise – for Fox, but those discussions have reached a standstill (due to Bale’s hesitance to take on sequels). The actor could still very well appear in that film (he has re-entered talks without the franchise commitment), but until then, he has time on his schedule to star in Sony’s biopic.
Bale was one of many A-listers on Sony’s star-studded wish list to headline the film, and it looks now he’s got the edge over competitors like Bradley Cooper and Matt Damon. Compared to the other rumored names, Bale always seemed like the most likely option due to his planner being a little less packed. He is locked in for Bagheera in Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book: Origins, but that film is still in pre-production and won’t hit theaters until 2016. The Jobs biopic will plausibly have a less-demanding shooting schedule than Serkis’ effects-heavy tale, meaning that scheduling issues shouldn’t be too much of a concern.
Some viewers will no doubt roll their eyes at the prospect of another Jobs film, especially after the first one wasn’t all that well-received (read our review). However, there’s strong reason to believe that the second time will be the charm. Boyle is a talented filmmaker, having won a Best Directing Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire and receiving two additional nominations for his producing and writing on 127 Hours. Bale is somewhat picky with his acting choices, and if he feels the project is of high quality, that bodes well for fans.
Also, this new movie has generated a ton of buzz for its concept alone. Using Walter Isaacson’s biography of Jobs has a launching point, Sorkin’s script bucks conventional film trends by telling its story in three extended, 30-minute scenes detailing the launch of the first Macintosh computer, the NeXT computer, and the first iPod. Not only does this make the film aptly unique (Apple’s motto is “think different” after all), it will also help separate it from the more traditional biopic structure Jobs featured.
As for how Bale’s would-be performance as Jobs might go, the actor has earned the clout for us to expect nothing but the best from him. A true craftsman and chameleon, his method style of acting allows him to become the characters he is portraying, and he has changed his body weight, mannerisms, and accents on a number of occasions to inherent whomever his director wants; a trick that earned him an Oscar in 2010’s The Fighter (pictured above). They may not be spitting images of each other, but Bale’s history has shown he’ll strive to physically resemble Jobs as closely as possible.
All in all, this sounds like a very promising film on paper. There’s no word on when the cameras should start rolling, but Sony will conceivably want to get this out in time for awards season 2015 given the pedigree involved. Assuming Bale truly does sign on (remember, he’s still “in talks”), the Steve Jobs biopic will have a lot of potential to chase Oscar gold, joining a number of films from other respected auteurs on the awards circuit next year.
We’ll keep you updated on the Untitled Steve Jobs Biopic as more information becomes available.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.