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

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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.

Top Rated Comments

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63 months ago

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.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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63 months ago
Good for her. She is definitely entitled to object to this.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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63 months ago
Ol' Steve is going to be shown as the monster that he was and Laurene Powell is going to have to suck it up.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
63 months ago
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.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
63 months ago
News report ... What rubbish!
Click Bait story at best.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
63 months ago

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...
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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