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Casting Call: David Fincher & Aaron Sorkin's Steve Jobs

Jobs didn't recognize his first daughter with girlfriend Chrisann Brennan until later in his life, so we reckon Lisa Brennan-Jobs will be portrayed during in her late teens, when she lived with her father for a few years. Hailee Steinfeld first garnered attention alongside Jeff Bridges in True Grit. Factor in her age, look, and attitude, and she seems the perfect fit for Lisa.

We get what David Fincher is thinking, aside from sharing a pretty striking resemblance, at 40, Christian Bale is a good median age to play Steve Jobs from the '80s through the early '00s. He's serious enough an actor (and then some) to play Jobs's often complicated neuroses, swaying from single-minded dictator to nurturing invention mentor in a matter of minutes. Oh, and he's also Christian Bale (American Psycho, 3:10 to Yuma, American Hustle), so there's really no need to break down his acting ability here.


Bill Campbell was brought on in the early days of Apple as a marketing executive. He left the company years later, but then returned in 1997 with Steve Jobs to join the Board of Directors. Campbell was so close with Jobs, that when Jobs's condition progressed, Campbell considered stepping down from the Board to avoid a conflict of interest navigating the differences between Apple's public statements to shareholders and Jobs's own personal privacy. As the charming, enigmatic godfather of the tech industry, Jeff Bridges (The Big Lebowski, True Grit, Crazy Heart) could tap into Campbell's magnetism and near-intimidating sense of intellect.


Jobs met his wife of 20-some years when he agreed to guest lecture for a class at Stanford Business School in the early '90s. Laurene Powell was accomplished in her own right. A Wharton grad, Powell went on to build an empire in business and social activism. Reese Witherspoon hasn't channeled her Legally Blonde, Walk the Line strong-but-nuanced-woman gravitas lately, but Laurene Powell could be that role. The public saw how involved and attentive to Jobs Powell was during his final years, but portraying the earlier years of their marriage, Bale and Witherspoon could illuminate more of Jobs's private life in the short span of the scenes Sorkin has chosen. Something also tells us that Witherspoon could keep up with Sorkin-paced dialogue, and that's a very entertaining prospect. 


Ed Woolard is the Apple exec who convinced Steve Jobs to return to the company he'd founded as CEO. Apparently Jobs admired Woolard, so when Jobs did become CEO in 1996, he recast the entire Board except for him. As the CEO of DuPont for many years, and a board member on various Fortune 500 companies, Woolard is a powerful, intelligent guy. Tom Wilkinson starred with Christian Bale in Batman Begins, and he's played no shortage of powerful roles before (see Michael Clayton, The Debt, Belle). His ability to be very un-serious (The Grand Budapest Hotel) just makes him all the more alluring as an actor.  


Described by Jobs as his "spiritual partner," Jony Ive was Jobs's closest creative collaborator at Apple when it came to aesthetics and design. Friends at work and in life, that connection has to be believable on screen. Bale and Tom Hardy (Warrior, Lawless, Locke) starred together in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises, but it's really Hardy's role in Inception that sells us on his portrayal of Ive. The British actor played Eames with effortlessly natural confidence—something that will come in handy when playing the designer with such a famously unrelenting conviction in his simplistic designs.