Aaron Sorkin Wanted Tom Cruise to Play Steve Jobs
There has been a lot of crazy drama surrounding Aaron Sorkin and Danny Boyle’s Steve Jobs movie that Sony Pictures dropped, and you should read about all of it here. It’s really entertaining and interesting stuff. Universal Pictures ended up picking up the film project with Michael Fassbender attached to play Jobs. Before he ended up in the role, though, the only other two actors we knew about to be up for the project were Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale.
Turns out, just a couple of months ago Tom Cruise, Tobey Maguire, and Matthew McConaughey were also in the running. Sorkin’s favorite for the lead role though was Cruise. He wanted the actor in the role bad, which would have been really quite interesting to see.
Before Sony ditched the project, Sorkin was pushing for Cruise in a couple of emails that he shot off to the studio executives. In them he explains why Cruise is right for the part. Here’s what he said:
“I’ve gotten Scott and Danny to the point where they're now a little interested in Tom Cruise. Though both remain concerned about his age (me less so) everyone agrees that he's an actor who can really handle language (Lions for Lambs, Magnolia, A Few Good Men) and a movie star who feels comfortable owning the stage. He's in London filming right now and Scott wants to get him a script to read and a meeting with Danny before Danny comes here to LA next week. I've been warned that he likes to bring in Chris McQuarrie to re-write but [Creative Artists Agency (CAA) agent] Maha Dakhil (who wants him in the movie) has assured me that won't happen.”
He then wrote this follow-up email after speaking to Boyle about Cruise. Apparently, Boyle wasn't completely sold on the idea.
“I just got off the phone with Danny who's concerned about the age but I think I got him thinking about it and he's going to look at some scenes from Lions for Lambs where Tom's basically auditioning for Jobs. He's also concerned that the choice will be met with derision because it's such a commercial choice but I honestly think that ends up working for us. Tom's going to surprise some people and they'll want to reward that. I don't think we'd have to recast Woz. Seth's the right age in the first act and Tom's the right age in the third. And the movie announces itself pretty quickly as not being literal--as being a painting rather than a photograph. Look, I wouldn't cast Clint Eastwood but if I saw Tom Cruise flying around the backstage corridors of Symphony Hall I wouldn't think he was too old. I think it would be dazzling performance.”
Obviously cruise didn’t get the the part, but it’s one of those fun “what if” scenarios to think about. Maybe if Fassbender drops out they can start talking to Cruise again.
It has also been reported that Jeff Daniels could join the project as former Apple CEO John Sculley, which is a part that Tom Hanks was looking to play at one point. Natalie Portman was also up for the role of Jobs' daughter, but ended up dropping out, probably because of all the crazy drama surrounding the project.
Do you think Cruise would have made a decent Steve Jobs?