After legendary Apple co-founder Steve Jobs passed away in October 2011, Hollywood wasted no time in green lighting not one, but two films detailing the tech icon’s life. Last year’s Jobs, which starred Ashton Kutcher in the title role, was the first to reach theaters, but ended up not being the definitive portrait of the man on screen in many people’s eyes (read our Jobs review).
The other Jobs biopic, however, is shaping up to be something that has the potential to be special. Oscar-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) was quick to come on board, penning a screenplay based on Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs biography. For a while, he was all alone on the project, but now he’s being joined by some high-profile friends. A few months ago, Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) signed on to direct the movie for Sony, and now Christian Bale has officially agreed to portray Steve Jobs.
In an interview with Bloomberg News (which you can view above), Sorkin himself broke the news, closing the book on a long casting process. Back when David Fincher was in talks to call the shots, he wanted Bale, and Sony was keen on that choice as well. After Boyle’s pick of Leonardo DiCaprio dropped out, Bale was placed on Sony’s wish list, entered negotiations with the studio, and is now set to don the black turtleneck.
Not surprisingly, Sorkin seemed very enthusiastic about the development, stating that the creative team was looking for the “best actor.” Bale was up against some stiff competition, including Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Bradley Cooper, but many film buffs will agree that Bale and his chameleon-like ability to change mannerisms, body weight, and accents on a dime make him an excellent choice to headline Boyle’s film.
From the beginning, we’ve known that Sorkin and Boyle’s biopic would differ from Jobs in its unique structure. As opposed to telling a linear narrative of Jobs’ life (or a period of it, at least), their film will consist of three, 30-minute scenes that play out in real time; chronicling what happened backstage prior to the launch of the first Macintosh computer, the NeXT computer, and the original iPod.
As such, it shouldn’t be a shock to learn that Bale is going to have a lot of heavy lifting to do for his new role. In the interview, Sorkin revealed that the actor will be in every frame of the film, and he has “more words to say in this movie than most people say in three movies combined.” It sounds like a challenging part that should be right up Bale’s alley, as the Academy Award winner is always looking for new ways to push his limits as a craftsman.
Since the film is only now starting to come together after years of pre-production, other details are very slim right now, and Sorkin did not say when Boyle hopes to get the cameras rolling or when this film will see the light of day. We’ve been saying for a while that given the pedigree of the principle players, Sony will almost certainly want to position this as a major Oscar contender, making it a prime candidate for a fall or winter 2015 release.
The only other project Bale currently has on his plate is Andy Serkis’ Jungle Book: Origins, which won’t hit theaters until October 2016. Taking into account everything we know, it seems as if Bale will shoot the Jobs film in the early part of next year before diving into Serkis’ effects-heavy adaptation. Scheduling was an issue that popped up amongst many of the contenders for the role, but thankfully, Sony was able to get their top choice – someone who Sorkin promises will “crush” it.
We’ll keep you updated on the Steve Jobs biopic as more information becomes available.
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Source: Bloomberg News