Director David Fincher has dropped out of Sony’s biopic of late Apple CEO Steve Jobs after a disagreement over (yep, you guessed it) money. The Hollywood Reporter reports that Fincher was asking for $10 million in up front fees, as well as control of the film’s marketing.
After helming more than a few of the last decade’s most critically acclaimed films, including two in collaboration with Sony (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network), Fincher has grown into a director with clout; his films make pretty good money, and they also scoop awards now and then. However, it seems he doesn’t have quite enough clout for Sony to give in to his apparent request for a hefty upfront fee.
Giving Fincher control of the film’s marketing is a somewhat more unusual condition, and it’s no wonder that Sony has balked at that as well. The director was given a measure of control over the marketing for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Fincher’s tagline ‘The feel bad movie of Christmas’ was used in the campaign, and according to the Hollywood Reporter ‘A source says Fincher also had the studio create metal, razor-blade-shaped one-sheet materials for the film that cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to produce but were not suitable for display in theatres’.
Sony and Fincher may yet bury the hatchet and get back to work, but until that time we can assume that a new director is required for this latest attempt at bringing the life of Jobs to the big screen. Christian Bale was Fincher’s favourite to star in the film, but this may not materialise now that he is no longer at the wheel.
The film is scripted by Aaron Sorkin, and has a planned 2016 release date.