David Fincher Won’t Direct Sony’s Steve Jobs Movie
In a move that really shouldn’t surprise too many people, the ever-picky David Fincher is out of the director’s chair for the upcoming (and untitled) Steve Jobs biopic, scripted by Aaron Sorkin. The ‘Zodiac’ and ‘The Social Network’ director has a reputation for being demanding, and it looks like Sony balked at his requested fee and level of control.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fincher demanded a payday of $10 million up front and total control of the film’s marketing, which had the studio nervous. It seems that Sony gave him tons of similar leeway during the making of ‘The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,’ letting him pick the film’s hilarious off-putting tagline (“The feel-bad movie of Christmas”) and producing impractical metallic posters shaped like razor blades upon his request. Ultimately, that film didn’t spawn the franchise the studio wanted and the critical and audience reaction was rather lukewarm. Of course they aren’t going to let him do that again!
Here’s one perspective: Fincher is a genius who has made numerous modern classics and major hits, transforming the story of Facebook into an Oscar-winning box-office hit and earning a place as one of modern cinema’s most fascinating mainstream artists. Sony, not giving him what he wants on this project, is silly because a filmmaker of his icy, technical precision would be the perfect match for Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay, which is presumably witty, dense and hilarious.
There’s still time for Fincher to change his mind and lower his fee and drop his other demands, but we highly doubt he’ll stick around after this. This is a project that dozens of other filmmakers are chomping at the bit to direct and there are surely going to be big, respectable names in contention who won’t prove the headache that Fincher has been.
But can they produce a film as good as Fincher would have? That’ the big question.
The untitled Steve Jobs biopic is based on the book ‘Steve Jobs’ by Walter Isaacson. Fincher wanted Christian Bale for the title role — and now that Fincher is out of discussions, it looks like Bale is too — but beyond that, not much has happened or been revealed, though we expect to hear more in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, Fincher’s latest film, an adaptation of the bestselling novel ‘Gone Girl,’ will hit theaters later this year.