Well, that was unexpected. For weeks now, we’ve been hearing a lot about Aaron Sorkin’s planned film about Apple founder Steve Jobs, from word that Michael Fassbender was being eyed to take the lead role to Sorkin’s comments that the movie is not a biopic in the traditional sense. But now, Sony has taken the unusual step of dropping the project and putting it into turnaround.
Luckily, Deadline is reporting that Universal is already “locking down” the project and giving it the go-ahead, so the movie, which is set to be directed by Slumdog Millionaire helmer Danny Boyle, shouldn’t experience too much of a delay. However, that Sony would simply dump what sounds on paper like an extremely promising film is highly suspect.
Perhaps the unusual structure of the Sorkin-scripted movie is what deterred the studio. Sorkin explained that the film is comprised of three long scenes, each taking place backstage before the product launches for three separate Apple products (the Mac, the NeXT and the iPod), and that Jobs’ daughter Lisa is “the heroine of the film.” Her relationship with Jobs is the crux of the film. It’s possible that Sony was simply reluctant to invest in such an atypical project, though something tells me there’s more to the studio’s sudden departure than meets the eye.
Regardless, Universal is expected to confirm its acquisition of the project by tomorrow, meaning Sorkin and Boyle can get back to work. So far, Fassbender is the frontrunner to play Steve Jobs, and Seth Rogen is set to portray Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Actresses are currently testing for the hotly contested role of Lisa, but no shortlist has yet been announced. Producers Scott Rudin, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady are all working to fast-track the project, though, so we should hear about a cast within the next few weeks.