Leaked Sony e-mails reveal Aaron Sorkin wanted Tom Cruise as Steve Jobs

“While the cyber-attackers who struck at Sony Pictures the week of Thanksgiving may have been motivated to stop Sony’s delivery of a certain film this Christmas, the data they leaked on Monday gives insight into the collapse of Sony’s role in another film—the adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs,” Sean Gallagher reports for Ars Technica. “And it also reveals who screenwriter Aaron Sorkin had in mind for the leading role in Jobs: Tom Cruise.”

“Based on e-mail messages in the Outlook mailbox of Columbia Pictures Chairman Amy Pascal, which made up nearly half of the latest leak of documents by the group calling themselves “the Guardians of Peace,” it was ultimately Director Danny Boyle’s choice of Michael Fassbender for the role of Steve Jobs that blew up the deal, as Pascal and her team struggled to find someone to help finance the film with him in the lead,” Gallagher reports. “Then, as Sony reached a deadline for coming up with a deal, producer Scott Rudin and Boyle closed a deal with Universal to take the picture, sparking an e-mail flame war.”

“Both Tobey McGuire and Matthew McConaughey approached those tied to the film about playing Steve Jobs, and Tom Hanks was campaigning to play the role of Jon Sculley,” Gallagher reports. “Seth Rogen, whose film The Interview may have made Sony the target of the attack that exposed Pascal’s e-mail, was lined up to play Steve Wozniak.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: In additional emails, it was also revealed that Sorkin pushed for Jo Anne Worley to play Woz but, alas, she refused to test.

Separated at birth?
Jo Anne Worley and Woz (parody by MacDailyNews.com)

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Lynn Weiler” for the heads up.]


  1. Bloody hell Tom Cruise thank God Sony got th boot from this. TC was the lead in 3 of my favorite films bug his greatest asset is when he simply plays himself and underplays the whole acting and personality malarkey. How the hell could he have portrayed someone who was larger than life, a showman and above all an enormous personality, I mean how many eyebrows has Cruise got to show his expressions?

      1. 2 out of 3 Minority Report and Collateral. He was also great in Jack Reacher even if he isn’t at all like the book character I’m told by my partner. Was excellent in Oblivion too though wouldn’t place the film in my top 5 or so.

  2. I really like Tom Cruise, but not for Steve Jobs. Christian Bale is too brooding of a character, and while Jobs could be fiery, he wasn’t brooding. I don’t see how Bale could have exhumed the charm Jobs had either. Neither Toby McGuire nor McConaughuey are right for the part. I like Fassbender; he would be a good fit. But I have a feeling this movie is going nowhere.

  3. People may disagree but I think Sorkin’s instincts were dead on. Cruise has a maniacal focus about everything he does in the same way Jobs did. I think in a lot of ways Cruise could identify with Jobs and use that most effectively to portray Jobs.

    That and… They both have big eyebrows… 😉

    1. I’m not a big fan of Cruise these days, but he has done some laudatory work, and can be quite exceptional. Magnolias is a case in point. I agree with you that he could bring the intensity to this that Bale and others couldn’t.

  4. Daniel Day Lewis 15 years ago would been my choice. Seriously find a very talented unknown to play the part and you might have a shot without it becoming a “JOBSIE DEAREST” (Faye Dunaway still living down her take on Joan Crawford). Well known actors just bring too much of their own persona, self-conscious familiarity and history into it. Too distracting from the subject matter IMHO.

    1. LOL. You’re right. No matter who Cruise is playing or which costume he is wearing, he is always playing Tom Cruise. But I like him.

      Talking about playing himself, I recently watched the new Hercules movie, and realized why someone like The Rock will always be a B-grade actor. Despite all the effort to provide gravitas to his role, and the heavyweight production values, he looked and acted like a WWE wrestler.

    1. i agree. Bale had the star power to carry this film, but I feel like Fassbender.. Meh.. I’m not that interested. He’s too dull. Literally Ashton Kutcher would have been a better choice, at least he can be charismatic (oh yeah and he actually looks like SJ).

      I’m not trying to be funny, but if there is ever a movie about Tim Cook, fassbenser would be top of the list! 😉

  5. It’s just too darn soon for this.

    Jobs is still larger than life.

    A bit of time needs to pass and history to be written and perceptions to even out a bit before this movie is made.

    Let 20 years pass. Maybe 30.

    Then make a remake of Clash of the Titans. The old one with the metal owl. Not the last sucky one. Now THAT would be awesome! Portray Steve as a god!

    And the title would work, too!

  6. Having read those exchanges and discovered what a completely vile individual Scott Rudin is I hope this movie falls flat on his face, leading to him never producing another film. Hopefully he’ll pump all his own money in and go bankrupt in the process.

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