Sony’s biopic about late Apple Founder, Steve Jobs, has stalled since it was announced back in 2011. Three years ago, the delay occurred around the time of Jobs’ death. Since then the movie has suffered a plague of development issues – and today marks the arrival of one more set back. Leonardo DiCaprio, the leading man who was reportedly on track to start work soon on the picture, has bowed out.
The actor has chosen to abandon the rags-to-riches tale in favour of tackling The Revenant, the upcoming thriller from Birdman helmer Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. It was assumed DiCaprio would wrap up shooting on that pic, before starting work on the Jobs flick – but he’s now taken himself completely off the project so he can embark on a long hiatus from acting.
The news comes via The Hollywood Reporter, who went to to reveal additional names the studio are eyeing for the now vacant role:
Christian Bale, who Fincher wanted for the title role, is on Sony’s wish list, as is Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Bradley Cooper (though Affleck seems unlikely given that he just signed on for the thriller The Accountant).
All of the names mentioned are big hitters who’ve more than enough experience to take on the part of the enigmatic Apple creator. As the other Jobs biopic starred Ashton Kutcher in the lead, it would seem Sony aren’t taking any chances for their feature to suffer a similar fate.
The news of DiCaprio’s departure will no doubt come as a blow to Danny Boyle, who worked with the actor on The Beach and is set to helm here, and most definitely to the studio. They’d already been dealt the film’s biggest setback when David Fincher withdrew from negotiations, amidst talk that their demands were too intrusive for the director. One constant, however, has been screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, whose commitment to telling a new side of Jobs’ story has never wavered. He’s previously spoken out about the nature of his screenplay, which is apparently not a straight-up biopic. His version will disregard all typical Hollywood narrative frameworks and solely consist of three long scenes.
Whoever lands the gig, the pieces are in place for what’s shaping up to be an unusual, and intriguing look into the life of a great inventor.
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