12 things we might see in David Fincher's Steve Jobs biopic

We're already excited about the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic (written by Aaron Sorkin and hopefully starring Christian Bale), even though it won't start production until 2015. Luckily, director David Fincher tends to stay a bit consistent (and consistently good) with his creative choices, so we can take some educated guesses as to what we might possibly see in the film to tide us over in the meantime. Check out our slideshow for speculations on what a David Fincher-directed Jobs movie would be like.

By

  • Bale Christian Bale
  • BRAD Brad Pitt
  • FIGHTCLUB A delayed cult following
  • GLOOMY Gloomy lighting
  • SPACEY Kevin Spacey
  • 4THWALL Breaking the "fourth wall"
  • MARA A Mara sister
  • BOOTCAMP Mandatory Steve Jobs boot camp
  • leto Jared Leto
  • CLAIREUNDERWOOD Robin Wright
  • NIN Music by Nine Inch Nails
  • SERIAL A serial killer? A suicide? A twist?
  • More stories
Next Prev

Christian Bale

Christian Bale of Batman, The Fighter and American Hustle fame is David Fincher’s first choice to play Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic, The Wrap reports. Fincher recently met with Sony's Amy Pascal to discuss the possibility of directing the film, and told her, in no uncertain terms, that he'd only take the reins of the project if Bale plays Jobs. Aaron Sorkin wrote the film, which will be produced by Scott Rudin, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady. Bale has recently wrapped up his role as Moses in Ridley Scott's upcoming biblical epic Exodus and has not yet been formally approached to play Jobs.

Right: Christian Bale and Steve Jobs

Next »

Next Prev Bale

Christian Bale of Batman, The Fighter and American Hustle fame is David Fincher’s first choice to play Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic, The Wrap reports. Fincher recently met with Sony's Amy Pascal to discuss the possibility of directing the film, and told her, in no uncertain terms, that he'd only take the reins of the project if Bale plays Jobs. Aaron Sorkin wrote the film, which will be produced by Scott Rudin, Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady. Bale has recently wrapped up his role as Moses in Ridley Scott's upcoming biblical epic Exodus and has not yet been formally approached to play Jobs.

Right: Christian Bale and Steve Jobs

 

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt and David Fincher have proven to have a great professional relationship, making three critically and commercially successful movies together: Se7en (1995), Fight Club (1999) and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008). It might be hard for Fincher to cast his go-to star in the Steve Jobs movie, though, as there doesn’t seem to be an obvious “pretty boy” who rolled in Jobs’ posse. John Sculley, the man who fired Jobs from Apple in 1985, might be a good choice. Current Apple CEO Tim Cook could also be a somewhat believable option. Or maybe even Jobs’ ultimate frenemy Bill Gates – with a lot of makeup and a heavy dose of suspended disbelief, of course.

Right: Actor Brad Pitt

 

A delayed cult following

David Fincher’s Fight Club, now a beloved cult classic, was initially met with many polarizing reviews. The studio balked at the film’s initial screening, claiming there would be no audience for such a gratuitously violent yet arty film. Similarly, there have been doubts as to whether or not there would be an audience for a Steve Jobs biopic (besides, you know, us at Macworld) because a) we just had a Jobs movie starring Ashton Kutcher last year and b) it didn’t do so well. But as Fincher’s track record shows, even if the movie doesn’t do so hot initially, that doesn’t mean it won’t turn into a classic eventually.

Right: Fight Club promotional poster

 

Gloomy lighting

Fincher often makes movies about grim topics, and the lighting tends to reflect that. Even when the topic is not so gloomy, though – like in The Social Network, Benjamin Button, and (we expect) the upcoming Jobs film– the dim lighting often stays. Other cinematic Fincher trademarks to look out for, according to IMDb, are fluid tracking camera, faceless silhouettes, green- or blue-tinted colour temperatures, wide shots, low angles, stationary shots with an unfocused background with the character walking into focus, and several single frames that flash on the screen in the middle of a scene.

Upper Right: Morgan Freeman as William Somerset in Se7en (1995).

Middle Right: Brad Pitt as Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008).

Lower Right: Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network (2010).

 

Kevin Spacey

Fincher has also proven to be a Kevin Spacey fan, casting him in Se7en and as main character Francis Underwood in the U.S. Netflix remake of House of Cards. Spacey was also a producer for Fincher’s The Social Network, so perhaps we could have another scenario in which Fincher and Spacey work together behind the scenes. In front of the camera, Spacey would make a good Alan Kay, a Xerox PARC computer scientist from whom Jobs may or may not have stolen the concept of a graphical user interface and a computer mouse. Spacey could probably also play Arthur Rock, an early Apple investor.

Right: Actor Kevin Spacey

 

Breaking the "fourth wall"

Fincher in no way invented this technique, nor does it come up in many of his works. But allowing a character to “break the fourth wall” – to speak to or acknowledge the audience directly – seems like it would be a fantastic technique to employ in the upcoming Steve Jobs movie. In Fincher’s U.S. version of House of Cards (and in the original British version as well), the central character breaks the fourth wall multiple times each episode, often in a very chilling way, letting the audience in on the sinister things he’s really thinking after engaging in nonsense political banter. Wouldn’t it be cool to have Steve Jobs, the king of different thinking, let us directly into his brain like that? On the other hand, Jobs was known for voicing his opinions openly, so his inner monologue might not be so different from his outward persona and breaking the fourth wall might not have quite the same effect.

Right: Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright as Francis and Claire Underwood in House of Cards (2013–). By looking directly into the camera to acknowledge the audience, Francis is breaking the fourth wall.

 

A Mara sister

Fincher first had a rapport with Rooney Mara, casting her as Mark Zuckerberg’s ex-girlfriend in The Social Network and then as main character Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Fincher said he initially could not picture Rooney as the hardcore character, but changed his mind after her audition and convinced Columbia Pictures executives to cast her for the part. Later, when Rooney’s sister Kate Mara read the part of journalist Zoe Barnes in the U.S. version of House of Cards, she “fell in love with the character” and asked her sister to “put in a word for me with Fincher.” The next month, she got a call for an audition.

In the Jobs biopic, either actress could perhaps play a grown-up Lisa Brennan-Jobs, the daughter whose paternity he initial denied but eventually had a relationship with. The biopic would likely focus on the earlier years, so a Mara would more likely play Chrisann Brennan, Lisa’s mother and Jobs’ high school girlfriend. (Rooney’s got more of the Brennan look.)

Upper Right: Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes in House of Cards (2013–).

Lower Right: Rooney Mara as Erica Albright in The Social Network (2010).

 

Mandatory Steve Jobs boot camp

After casting Armie Hammer and Josh Pence as the Winklevoss twins in The Social Network (Pence played Tyler Winklevoss from the neck down), Fincher sent the two actors to “twin boot camp” for 10 months. The actors spent countless hours with the real “Winklevii” and an acting coach in order to study each twin’s subtle mannerisms and speech patterns. “Does one grab the salt first, and one grab the pepper?” Pence mused with the Washington Post.

If Christian Bale gets the coveted role of Jobs, will he be sent to a similar boot camp? Did Jobs put on his black turtleneck first, and then his jeans? Or vice versa? Of course, Jobs is not around to personally coach the actor, but there is probably someone out there who can help analyze the late CEO’s mannerisms. Hey, maybe Ashton Kutcher could help – Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak panned Kutcher’s Jobs movie overall, but admitted that he at least got Jobs’ quirks down. “Ashton played Steve Jobs' mannerisms so well, but he didn't bring out the thinking that makes us love Steve [and] the ideas that drove Apple forward,” Woz told ABC News.

Upper Right: Steve Jobs at a conference.

Lower Right: The (real) Winklevoss twins.

 

Jared Leto

Fincher has worked with Jared Leto twice so far, casting him as Angel Face in Fight Club and as a criminal in Panic Room (2002). Perhaps Leto could play Daniel Kottke, one of Apple’s earliest employees and the guy who went backpacking in India with Jobs in search of spiritual enlightenment. Or Bill Atkinson, a computer engineer who worked at Apple from 1978 to 1990.

Upper Right: Jared Leto as Angel Face in Fight Club (1999).

Lower Right: Jared Leto as Junior in Panic Room (2002).

 

Robin Wright

Robin Wright has worked with Fincher on both The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and House of Cards. Wouldn’t she make a convincing Laurene Powell Jobs?

Upper Right: Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist and Robin Wright as Erika Berger in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).

Lower Right: Robin Wright as Claire Underwood in House of Cards (2013–).

 

Music by Nine Inch Nails

Composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross have collaborated with Fincher to score both The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, winning the Academy Award for Best Original Score for the former and the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media for the latter, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Fincher work with them again. Reznor is the sole official member of Nine Inch Nails, an American industrial rock band. Fincher also directed a music video for “Only” with primarily computer-generated imagery, solidifying his ties to the band.

Right: Trent Reznor

 

A serial killer? A suicide? A twist?

Okay, we’re just having fun with this one, because it would be impossible to pull off anything like that in a nonfiction biopic. But it is worth noting that Fincher has developed a reputation for himself as a director of violent films (Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, and so on.) He was able to break his own mold with The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and The Social Network; it will be interesting to see if he can do it again successfully. More recently, he has been known for depicting socially awkward computer hackers (The Social Network, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo), so it looks like he is on the right track to pulling off this upcoming Jobs movie.

Right: Promotional posters for Zodiac (2007) and Se7en (1995).

Hands-on: Acer Predator Triton 700 review

Hands-on: Acer Predator Triton 700 review

D&AD Awards 2017: see the best design, advertising, illustration, animation and VR of the past year

D&AD Awards 2017: see the best design, advertising, illustration, animation and VR of the past year

How to lose weight with an Apple Watch

How to lose weight with an Apple Watch