updated 07:30 pm EDT, Mon April 14, 2014
Wanted Christian Bale in the role of Jobs, $10M fee, marketing control
Those hoping for a reunion of the team that made The Social Network into a critical and commercial success will be disappointed to learn that -- at least for now -- that film's director, David Fincher, is off the Sony Pictures "Steve Jobs" project, according to industry trade reports. Fincher, along with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, was set to tackle Sony's big-budget interpretation of Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, but has pulled out over the issue of fees and marketing control, sources claim.
The Hollywood Reporter on Monday claimed that Fincher was asking for $10 million in up-front fees -- an amount that is double the entire budget of the Ashton Kutcher project Jobs -- and control over the marketing of the film. He also was said to have only wanted to do the movie if Christian Bale were attached as the star, unnamed sources close to the matter have said.
Fincher, who has directed a number of memorable films that were also box-office successes such as Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button among others, ran afoul of Sony when his ideas for marketing the film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, involving giant sheetmetal slats fashioned to look like razor blades, proved untenable for movie theatres to use -- costing the studio hundreds of thousands of dollars in wasted expense. He did, however, captain the production of Se7en and Panic Room into huge successes as well, and won a Golden Globe for his direction of The Social Network, which was also written by Sorkin. The film went on to win three Academy Awards.
The untitled Jobs film from Sony, expected in 2016, is intended to be another high-quality yet commercial film that is said to focus on Jobs' thoughts and memories backstage just prior to three pivotal Apple product introductions; the Mac in 1984, NeXT in 1988, and the iPod in 2001. Bale is said to be one of the leading contenders for the title role, but no casting or other pre-production details have yet been made available. It is possible that Fincher could return to the negotiating table at some future point.