Christian Bale (Exodus: Gods and Kings) has decided to pass on the role of Steve Jobs. The actor was all but set to play the tech giant in an upcoming biopic from director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire), but pulled out before either side could begin negotiations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film, written by the inimitable Aaron Sorkin (HBO’s The Newsroom, Moneyball), is going to be structured around Jobs at three different but crucial points of his life, through his preparations for three separate presentations that would ultimately shape his career. Although no deal had been in place, Sorkin had already publicly acknowledged that Bale had gotten the role just over a week ago, saying, “We needed the best actor on the board in a certain age range and that’s Chris Bale.”
Danny Boyle was already headed to Hollywood this week to cast for the film, although that now task now includes searching for a new male lead. Seth Rogen is still in talks to play Jobs’ partner and co-founder Steve Wozniak, with no official deal in place yet.
Although Bale has proven himself to be an actor with great range and a willingness to go to great lengths to place himself in transformative roles, sources say he ultimately decided he was not a good fit for the role of Jobs.
Bale is the second actor to turn down the role, with Leonardo DiCaprio passing on it first. Behind the camera, Gone Girl director David Fincher also passed on making the film, which would have been his second tech-centered collaborative effort with writer Sorkin (The Social Network). The Jobs biopic has actually been brewing as far back as 2012, when Sorkin was first slated to write an adaptation based on Walter Isaacson’s biography.
Filming for the project was set to begin this winter, but that could be delayed depending on how long the search for a new male lead takes.