It looks like David Fincher will not be directing that Steve Jobs biopic after all -- and it has nothing to do with his choice of leading man.
The Hollywood Reporter writes that studio Sony is actively looking to replace Fincher after the director demanded too much money and control over the feature, including $10 million in up-front payment and oversight of the film's marketing. Sources tell THR that Sony balked at Fincher's requests, and were already wary of working with the director after a disastrous marketing campaign for 2011's "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo," where Fincher requested that the studio spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on promotional materials that were ultimately useless.
THR writes that Fincher could potentially re-enter negotiations with Sony to retain the job, but sources tell the trade that the director needs to cut down on his "ridiculous" demands.
"You're not doing 'Transformers' here. You're not doing 'Captain America," the source said. "This is quality - it's not screaming commerciality. He should be rewarded in success but not up front."
Fincher's initial attachment to the feature -- an adaptation of Walter Isaacson's bestselling Jobs biography -- was billed as a reunion of the Oscar-winning team behind "The Social Network." Producer Scott Rudin and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (who won the Academy Award for "Network"'s screenplay) are also on board the project.
However, earlier reports indicated that Fincher's involvement was contingent on securing his number one choice to play Jobs: Christian Bale. While the THR report doesn't indicate whether that stipulation was another sore spot with Sony (Bale has no far not signed on to the project), it very well may have contributed to the studio's alleged frustration with the director.
We'll see how this all shakes out in the coming weeks and months. The biopic will certainly move forward, but it appears that someone else may be behind the lens.
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