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Early on in production, Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs movie struggled to find a lead actor to play Steve Jobs, with both Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio turning down the role after having been previously attached to the film. At the time, DiCaprio gave no official reason for pulling out of negotiations, while Christian Bale reportedly felt he was not right for the role.

A new report from The Hollywood Reporter (via The Verge) suggests Steve Jobs' widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, may have had something to do Bale and DiCaprio's decision to pass on playing Steve Jobs. One of the "key players" on the Jobs movie told The Hollywood Reporter that Laurene Powell Jobs contacted DiCaprio and Bale and asked them not to take on the role.
Says another of the picture's key players, "Since the very beginning, Laurene Jobs has been trying to kill this movie, OK?" (Laurene's character does not figure in the film, while Jobs' daughter, Lisa Brennan-Jobs, from another relationship, plays a prominent part.) "Laurene Jobs called Leo DiCaprio and said, 'Don't do it.' Laurene Jobs called Christian Bale and said, 'Don't [do it].' "
DiCaprio, Bale, and Powell Jobs did not comment on the accusation, but a Sony executive backed up the story. "My understand is, she did call one or two of the actors," said the executive.



Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal published a similar story on Laurene Powell Jobs, suggesting she attempted to shut down the movie ahead of its release multiple times. She lobbied executives at both Sony and Universal Pictures to kill the film and she refused to discuss the script with the filmmakers.

Powell Jobs, along with other Steve Jobs allies like Bill Campbell and Tim Cook, reportedly believe the movie paints Jobs as "cruel and inhumane," playing down his accomplishments and portraying only one aspect of his personality. Cook has called the movie "opportunistic" while Campbell, a friend of Jobs and former Apple board member, has said the movie will influence an entire generation. "A whole generation is going to think of him in a different way if they see a movie that depicts him in a negative way," he said.

Despite objections from Steve Jobs' friends and family and early troubles nailing down a lead actor, the movie went on to be made with Michael Fassbender in the role of Jobs. While there was some skepticism that Fassbender could handle the role, the Steve Jobs movie has thus far received positive reviews and there have been murmurings that Fassbender could receive an Oscar nomination for his performance.

The Hollywood Reporter's article includes a full rundown of the hurdles that had to be overcome to get the movie made and the thoughts behind many of the casting decisions. It's well worth checking out for anyone who wants an overview of the history of the Steve Jobs movie.

The Steve Jobs movie will be released on October 9, 2015 in Los Angeles and New York before seeing a wider release later in the month.

Article Link: Laurene Powell Jobs Tried to Dissuade Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio From Playing Steve Jobs
 

ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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How easy is it to call Bale and DiCaprio?

When you're the widow of Jobs trying to contact an actor who will portray Jobs, probably not very hard.

In fact, I'd be a bit surprised if they didn't call her looking for input. Don't actors normally study up on the character they'll be playing? When you'll be playing a person who recently died, their immediate family and friends seems like a good source to try utilizing.
 
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kas23

macrumors 603
Oct 28, 2007
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How easy is it to call Bale and DiCaprio?

I'm sure Jobs's wife has them on speed dial. In fact, I'm sure she had them on conference call while cruising on her $100 million yacht.

Seriously though, all these people (Jobs's wife, Apple execs) are really starting to sound like douches. Who gives an eff? Since when is a Hollywood movie not dramatized? Maybe producers are trying to drum up publicity though.
 

Even Longer

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Dec 12, 2012
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Ol' Steve is going to be shown as the monster that he was and Laurene Powell is going to have to suck it up.

There is a proverb in Russia: "you speak only good about the dead or not at all..."

I think, Jobs' accomplishments outshine by far any of his escapades or other aspects of his personality.
Therefore I don't understand the reason about making yet another movie about Steve Jobs, doesn't matter how truthfully. Besides of sheer profit, of course.

Anyone interested in those details, can read the biography.

General rule says, that every movie needs a drama or some kind of conflict to be successful, - otherwise it would be a ****** boring one.
It this particular case I find misusing that kind of drama inappropriate. To say the least...
 
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AlexH

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Mar 7, 2006
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Ol' Steve is going to be shown as the monster that he was and Laurene Powell is going to have to suck it up.
It's not a documentary seeking to accurately depict his life, it's a drama meant for entertaining the masses. So no, she doesn't have to just "suck it up."

She may lose, but she has every right to fight like hell against what she sees as exploitation of a man she cared for.
 

Benjamin Frost

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My sympathies are with Laurene.

I don't think I'd want any film being made of Steve Jobs if I were her either.

And what's the point? There's so much footage of Jobs that is 100% authentic portrayal of the great man. What I would love to see is a stupendously good documentary of Steve Jobs, perhaps as a TV series. That way, a comprehensive story of Jobs and Apple can be told hand in hand at leisure and in great detail. It would be fascinating and do justice to the legacy of Jobs.
 

Craigwilliam

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Jun 24, 2012
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I dunno, it kind of annoys me that she would try and not only sabotage the movie but also criticise it when she's probably not even going to see it, that goes for the people at Apple as well. At the Beginning of the Walter Isaacson book there are quotes from both Steve and Laurene that encourage the book to be brutal and truthful about Steve and his failings.
"There are parts of his life and personality which are extremely messy, and that's the truth," She tole me early on. "You shouldn't white wash it. He's good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I'd like to see that it's told truthfully."
This is hardly the first movie to portray Steve either, Pirates of Silicon Valley portrayed him every bit as harshly as this film seems to do but Steve himself wasn't angry about it, he even invited Noah Wiley to make an appearance at Macworld because he liked the performance so much.
I just think it's a compelling story and it will make for a compelling movie.
 

btrach144

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Aug 28, 2015
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Any widow should be doing this for her deceased husband. Good for her. I don't blame her.

Sadly, too many people shared too many stories about how Steve Jobs was a jerk. Her words or Apple's senior leadership team are biased. As I was going through school, I viewed Jobs as an inspiration so it was a hard pill to swallow when everyone started revealing how he was a jerk.
 
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Benjamin Frost

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I dunno, it kind of annoys me that she would try and not only sabotage the movie but also criticise it when she's probably not even going to see it, that goes for the people at Apple as well. At the Beginning of the Walter Isaacson book there are quotes from both Steve and Laurene that encourage the book to be brutal and truthful about Steve and his failings.
"There are parts of his life and personality which are extremely messy, and that's the truth," She tole me early on. "You shouldn't white wash it. He's good at spin, but he also has a remarkable story, and I'd like to see that it's told truthfully."
This is hardly the first movie to portray Steve either, Pirates of Silicon Valley portrayed him every bit as harshly as this film seems to do but Steve himself wasn't angry about it, he even invited Noah Wiley to make an appearance at Macworld because he liked the performance so much.
I just think it's a compelling story and it will make for a compelling movie.

The problem is that books are intrinsically more truthful than movies because there is less sensationalism and need to make money. Films and truth are uneasy bedfellows, particularly when it comes to biographies.
 
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quietstormSD

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Mar 2, 2010
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Why wouldn't you want to have the best actors in the world portray someone you loved so much? If there going to shine him in a "more harsh" light, at least have the best do it.
 

bladerunner2000

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It's not a documentary seeking to accurately depict his life, it's a drama meant for entertaining the masses. So no, she doesn't have to just "suck it up."

She may lose, but she has every right to fight like hell against what she sees as exploitation of a man she cared for.

The studios have no moral or legal obligation to comply with her whining. They'll do as they see fit... and you're comment about it being a drama is only your opinion. We do know that Steve Jobs was known to be a horrible person.
 

bladerunner2000

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Why wouldn't you want to have the best actors in the world portray someone you loved so much? If there going to shine him in a "more harsh" light, at least have the best do it.

That would backfire greatly;

Get a mediocre actor to poorly depict jobs and it will be forgotten, no matter how accurate the story is.

Get the best actor, and it will be remember... keep in mind that Laurene Powell has an agenda just like Apple and Jobs did; they only want good reviews to be made public, any negative publicity is to be covered. That's why she was whining about the other actors potentially having a go at it... they'd show Jobs as a miserable prick TOO well and it'd be embarrassing for them.
 

AlexH

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Mar 7, 2006
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The studios have no moral or legal obligation to comply with her whining. They'll do as they see fit... and you're comment about it being a drama is only your opinion. We do know that Steve Jobs was known to be a horrible person.
I didn't say they did have a moral or legal obligation. I said she could fight. She has every right to fight.

Also, it's not my opinion that it's a drama, it's actually officially categorized as a biographical drama. Feel free to look it up.
 
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bladerunner2000

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I didn't say they did have a moral or legal obligation. I said she could fight. She has every right to fight.

Also, it's not my opinion that it's a drama, it's actually officially categorized as a biographical drama. Feel free to look it up.

She has a right, sure, but she's irrelevant.
 

ProVideo

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Jun 28, 2011
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She and everyone else that are speaking out against it are probably not happy that Walter Isaacson will be getting another good chunk of money from selling the rights to that hastily thrown together biography that did a disservice to his and Apple's history. I think he rushed it to the publisher without having an editor go over it so he could cash in on Job's death, and likely did the same with selling the movie rights. There were so many aspects of that biography that were blatantly wrong and showed Isaacson didn't have an understanding of computers, many of which are covered in this Podcast.
 
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