David Fincher reportedly backs out of Steve Jobs biopic

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Director David Fincher has backed out of the Aaron Sorkin-penned Steve Jobs biopic after failing to come to agreeable terms with Sony Pictures, The Hollywood Reporter confirms. Fincher was seeking $10 million up front, as well as control of the film’s marketing. 

The issue seems to be the salary rather than the requested control over marketing. Sony granted Fincher major input on the marketing of 2011’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, so there is precedent. One source confirmed that Sony is willing to re-enter negotiations, but the director’s $10 million asking price is “ridiculous.”

“You’re not doing Transformers here. You’re not doing Captain America,” the source with ties to the studio told THR. “This is quality — it’s not screaming commerciality. He should be rewarded in success but not up front.”

Sony had hoped to reunite the core team behind The Social Network, which includes Fincher, Sorkin, and producer Scott Rudin. The Facebook origin story went on to earn $225 million worldwide, and earned several awards and nominations. Fincher had been pursuing Christian Bale for the role of Steve Jobs, but the actor was never officially attached.

The studio is now seeking a new director to take over the project, which is based on Walter Isaacson’s best-selling autobiography Steve Jobs. The film is in no way related to the 2013 biopic Jobs, which was directed by Joshua Michael Stern and starred Ashton Kutcher. Shooting on the new biopic is expected to begin later this year or early 2015.

In the meantime, Fincher is currently directing the upcoming Gone Girl, which stars Ben Affleck and is due in theaters on October 3, 2014. He also serves as an executive producer on Netflix’s House of Cards, which recently aired its second season and has been picked up for a third, which is expected to air around February 2015.