The critics’ verdict is in and Michael Fassbender seems to have hit it out of the park as Apple visionary Steve Jobs … but he wasn’t the first choice to play the role.
While we have known for a while now that both Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio passed on the part, thanks to The Hollywood Reporter, we now know why.
Apparently, Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs, did her best to prevent the project from ever seeing the light of day and went so far as to call both Bale and DiCaprio personally to urge them to turn down the role. THR quotes a “key player” on the film as saying “since the very beginning, Laurene Jobs has been trying to kill this movie, OK? Laurene Jobs called Leo DiCaprio and said: ‘Don’t do it.’ Laurene Jobs called Christian Bale and said: ‘Don’t [do it].’”
Her entreaties were not limited to Bale and DiCaprio either. Apparently, Powell Jobs also appealed to studio execs at Sony Pictures (where the film was originally being developed) and Universal, but the latter went ahead with the project anyway.
Steve Jobs presents a complicated, nuanced picture of its subject and shines the same bright light on his flaws that it does on his strengths. Perhaps that’s the reason why Powell Jobs went out of her way to derail the film, or perhaps it’s because she saw it as exploitative. She has yet to comment on the article, but she is reportedly a very private person and we’re sure the emotion stemming from her husband’s 2011 death is still very raw.
For his part, current Apple CEO Tim Cook seems to feel that the film took advantage of tragedy and during an appearance on The Late Show, told Stephen Colbert “I think that a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic, and I hate this; it’s not a great part of our world.”
Aaron Sorkin, who penned the film’s script, quickly fired back with a three-pronged response “Nobody did this movie to get rich,” said Sorkin “secondly, Tim Cook should really see the movie before he decides what it is. Third, if you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour, you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic.”
Ouch. Clearly, this film has stirred up quite a bit of controversy.
Whichever side you come down on, Steve Jobs hits theaters Oct. 23, 2015.