Universal Pictures has announced a release date for Steve Jobs, a new biopic of the late Apple co-founder that will star Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave). The movie, directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire) with a screenplay by Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network), just began production but has been generating controversy and headlines for months now. The film is set to open on October 9, 2015.
Steve Jobs will have had a complicated and dramatic journey getting once it does finally make that release date. Originally the film was set up at Sony as a reunion for Sorkin and his The Social Network collaborators – producer Scott Rudin and director David Fincher. The script was based on Walter Isaacson’s biography. Taking a page from the critical and commercial success of their 2010 Oscar-winning film about the founder(s) of Facebook, Steve Jobs looked to explore another contemporary innovator – never mind that a Steve Jobs biopic had already been made recently with the critically panned 2013 Ashton Kutcher effort jOBS. Oscar-winning actor Christian Bale (The Fighter) was considered early on as a frontrunner for the title role. Bale ultimately passed however, as did Fincher (allegedly over disputes with Sony regarding salary and final cut). Boyle quickly picked up Steve Jobs and hoped for Leonardo DiCaprio to star, yet that didn’t happen either – DiCaprio is currently filming The Revenant for director Alejandro González Iñárritu (current Oscar nominee for Birdman). In the end Michael Fassbender was cast in the iconic role.
The surprising part came when Sony parted with Steve Jobs altogether and the film was put in turnaround, before getting saved by Universal. Behind-the-scenes drama is nothing new when it comes to Hollywood films, yet the Steve Jobs problems seem to have been atrracted particular focus because so much of it came out during the Sony e-mail hack, which included inflammatory back-and-forth discussions between Rudin and Sony head Amy Pascal – otherwise, it probably would have been business as usual. Casting problems aside, Steve Jobs still nabbed a solid group of actors in the end with Fassbender leading an ensemble that includes Seth Rogen (The Interview), Katherine Waterston (Inherent Vice), Sarah Snook (Predestination), Jeff Daniels (The Squid and the Whale), and Oscar-winner Kate Winslet (The Reader).
Clearly hoping for a repeat of The Social Network‘s critical and commercial success, Universal has given Steve Jobs that films’ same early October release date. If the film is ready in time, it will likely debut at one of the premiere fall film festivals (Telluride, Toronto, New York). Both The Social Network and Fincher’s 2014 movie Gone Girl served as the opening night title of the New York Film Festival.