From the muscular Batman to an overweight con artist to an anorexic factory worker, Christian Bale has been portraying a wide range of characters and now, Steve Jobs could also be added to his resume. The actor is being sought by David Fincher who could potentially direct the Aaron Sorkin treatment.
The late Apple co-founder was previously portrayed by Ashton Kutcher in the 2013 biopic, Jobs. His performance, as well as the film itself, was largely panned. Rotten Tomatoes verdict based on 120 reviews, only 32 giving it a fresh rating, was that it had “the feel of an over-sentimentalized made-for-TV biopic.” However, expectations were not high for the film as it was directed by a relative newcomer in Joshua Michael Stern and it was the first screenplay ever written by Matt Whitely.
Co-founder and Steve Jobs’ partner, Steve Wozniak, is helping with the Sorkin script. The screenwriter previously wrote and won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on The Social Network starring Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Sorkin is also known as the creator of TV shows, The West Wing and The Newsroom.
It was reported in January 2013 by The Verge that Wozniak turned down the script to Jobs and went with Sony instead to consult with the Sorkin treatment. He described himself as being disgusted by the first draft of Jobs.
David Fincher, having previously worked on a script by Sorkin with The Social Network, is not confirmed to be the director as it all depends on who portrays Steve Jobs and if he gets Christian Bale. The two have never worked before on a project and it could make for a very interesting collaboration.
Fincher is a director that needs no introduction. His resume includes such acclaimed films as Se7en, Fight Club, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and the aforementioned, The Social Network. His next film is an adaptation of the novel Gone Girl starring the next Batman, Ben Affleck.
Bale, who won a Best Actor Academy Award for his role in The Fighter, is known for going to the extremes to get into his characters. In The Mechanic, where he acted as an anorexic and insomniac factory worker, Bale lost over 60 pounds from 185 to around 122. He lost 20 more pounds than the recommendations of the director stating that he wanted to “push the limits” and describing himself as being “intrigued by a perverse nature of mine.” Even more shocking was that five months after, Bale would beef up and gain back, plus more, 100 pounds for the role of The Dark Knight in Batman Begins. In his most recent role in American Hustle, Bale went to the extreme yet again, gaining 40 pounds of fat. He will next appear in Ridley Scott’s Exodus as Moses opening later this year on December 12.
In describing Ashton Kutcher’s portrayal of Steve Jobs, Wozniak said Kutcher did not understand the flaws of his friend and co-founder in regards to how he ran Apple and made products that were worth making. As Rotten Tomatoes puts it, “over-sentimentalized, which in ways puts blame on the director too. Christian Bale, an actor completely dedicated to each of his roles, is very much capable of emoting the flaws of a man. If he agrees to the role, having him directed by David Fincher is a formula that could very well do justice to the life of a historic figure in Steve Jobs.
Commentary By Kollin Lore