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Despite having the Academy Award-winning power of Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle behind it, the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic has been epically struggling through pre-production - and it has basically just hit rock bottom. Reports are coming in that Sony Pictures has decided to put the project in turnaround - essentially leaving it available for any other studio to pick up. The good news is that the developing film may already have a new home lined up.
This news is coming to us from Deadline, which first got word that Sony was saying goodbye to the untitled Steve Jobs biopic. While this would leave most projects stuck in a state of chaos, what's keeping everything on an even keel is the fact that Universal is in the process of picking up the film. At the time that this article is being published there is no official deal in place, but things are looking optimistic.
While switching studios may not end up being the worst thing in the world for the Steve Jobs biopic, this is hardly the first problem that the production has encountered. Not only was there a bit of drama when it came to finding someone for the director's chair - with David Fincher at one point in talks to helm the project - but getting an actor for the lead role has been an extreme challenge as well. Both Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio were pursued to play the Apple co-founder, but neither could be convinced to sign on. Most recently we've been hearing word that Michael Fassbender is the new top choice, but that situation has yet to resolve itself one way or the other.
This isn't the first time that Universal has picked up a project put into turnaround by another studio - and the truth is that they are just coming off a very successful version of this maneuver. Dumb and Dumber To was originally set up at Warner Bros. before being dropped, and Universal swooped in to make sure that the film got made. This paid off big last weekend, as the comedy opened to a solid $36 million in its first three days. Picking up discarded projects hasn't always worked for the studio - case in point: Kick-Ass 2 - but there exists plenty of potential in the Steve Jobs biopic, and Universal seems to see it.
Scripted by Aaron Sorkin and based on the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson, the developing biopic is said to be split into three separate acts, with each one being set in real time and taking place backstage right before one of Apple's big product announcements. There have been talks that Seth Rogen could be coming aboard to play Steve Wozniak, but it's hard to say what the status of that deal is at this point. If a deal with Universal can be completed, it's possible that the film could get its act together for a shoot some time next year, resulting in the film being ready for a 2016 release.