Danny Boyle in talks for Steve Jobs movie, possibly with DiCaprio

Director Danny Boyle
Director Danny Boyle has approached Leonardo DiCaprio, whom he directed in “The Beach,” to portray Jobs.
(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Over a 20-year career making stylized, often genre-tinged films, Danny Boyle has been known to look at a well-worn area in new and dynamic ways.

With a potential Steve Jobs movie, he could be taking on a worthy subject.

The British auteur is in talks to helm Sony Pictures’ much-buzzed, sometimes-bumpy Jobs biopic that “The Social Network” scribe Aaron Sorkin has adapted from Walter Isaacson’s comprehensive biography, The Times has confirmed. Boyle would replace David Fincher, the “Social Network” director who appears to have moved off the project.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, which first reported the Boyle news, the director has also approached Leonardo DiCaprio, whom he directed in “The Beach,” to portray Jobs.


Unlike a traditional biopic, the Sorkin script is said to look at a few key moments in the iconoclast’s career rather than a more cradle-to-grave approach. A Sony Pictures spokesman declined to comment on any director or actor talks on the project.

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Boyle represents an unconventional choice for a biographical drama about a figure as well-known as the co-inventor of the Macintosh computer, the iPod and the iPhone. Most of the director’s oeuvre comes in a more fictional realm, from the druggy haze of “Trainspotting” to the colorful intensity of “Slumdog Millionaire.” Boyle has made a fact-based movie before in the canyoneering survivor tale “127 Hours” — but never one about such a public figure.

Boyle currently has several projects in development, including a sequel to his landmark “Trainspotting,” although he has not made a movie since finishing work on his genre-bending heist movie “Trance” in late 2012 (and actually shot that picture the year before).


As for DiCaprio, he has played well-known historical figures, including J. Edgar Hoover and Howard Hughes. But he’s attached to a number of movies, and also has a packed schedule  in the near future, among others, recently signing on to  Alejandro González Iñárritu’s thriller “The Revenant,” which aims to begin shooting in September. Given the priority of the Jobs movie at Sony, it would have to happen either really quickly or, more likely, something would have to move if filmmakers were able to make the schedule work for the actor.

While the potential involvement of Boyle is bound to excite many film fans, it does remain to be seen how the director’s famously up-tempo, stylized approach will meld with the sometimes more staid conventions of a biopic, even an unusual one like this.

Then again, Jobs was famous for looking at old problems in new ways, which has pretty much defined how Boyle goes about making films.


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