Danny Boyle is no stranger to opposition.
Real-life Hollywood drama almost kept the British director’s 2008 film “Slumdog Millionaire” from being made. The low-budget project that barely avoided a straight-to-DVD release ended up grossing $US378 million worldwide and earning Boyle his first Oscar.
His newest movie almost didn’t get made either. The Sony Pictures hack last year unearthed dirty details normally kept safe in private email threads that showed how Aaron Sorkin’s three-year-old script for “Steve Jobs,” which starts playing in select theatres October 9, languished in studio negotiations for years.
And a revolving door of actors interested in the lead role — Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and even Matthew McConaughey — wasn’t the project’s only dilemma.
Emails leaked from the Sony hack reveal that the studio couldn’t decide on a budget, which eventually led to the script going into turnaround, a Hollywood term for when a troubled project gets taken over by another studio willing to bear the financial responsibility for making it. In this case, Universal Studios took it over from Sony Pictures.
David Fincher was originally slated to direct — he and Sorkin had teamed up for “The Social Network” about Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — but he bowed out over salary disputes last April.
When Fincher dropped out, the project was left in limbo again, and the studio decided to bring in Boyle.
Boyle convinced Sorkin and producer Scott Rudin to cast Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs, an unlikely choice Sorkin originally resisted because, “I don’t know who Michael Fassbender is and the rest of the world isn’t going to care.”
They ended up deciding on Fassbender, and now the Irish actor’s performance is generating Oscar buzz.
Boyle and Sorkin are also facing heated push back from Apple executives and Steve Jobs’ widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, who reportedly called actors to dissuade them from playing Jobs. Apple CEO Tim Cook has called filmmakers like Boyle “opportunistic,” while design chief Jony Ive said he “found it sad” that Jobs’ persona has been “hijacked by people with agendas.”
Boyle’s movie does have an agenda, but he’s quick to say that it’s not “a hatchet job” or “deification” of Jobs.
In an interview with Tech Insider, Boyle discussed the creative liberties taken to portray an “uncompromising man.”
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