Christian Bale just dropped out of the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, leaving what can reasonably be considered the role of a lifetime vacant. The Danny Boyle-directed film is now once again without a star. So who can step into Jobs’ tennis shoes? Boyle may be meeting with potential replacements this week, but we had some thoughts we think he should consider:
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Idris Elba: For so many Apple aficionados, Elba is the obvious choice. He’s accustomed to playing figures in authority, having portrayed ambitious drug kingpin Stringer Bell in The Wire and Nelson Mandela himself in Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. As we saw in Pacific Rim, he has boatloads of charisma and can give the kind of reality-distorting speech that can send men to their deaths. And he looks good in business attire. If revisionist histories are what you’re after, Idris Elba is the man to sell you a Mac.
Benedict Cumberbatch: Why set yourself up for disappointment by voting for anyone else? If you think a flagship geek film is going into production without the aloof, imposing, and vaguely alien visage of Benedict Cumberbatch attached, I'm surprised you even know there's a Steve Jobs movie coming out. The inevitable casting of Cumberbatch may seem like a bit of a downer at first, if you've already gotten your fill with Sherlock, Star Trek into Darkness, The Hobbit, The Fifth Estate, and (it's now rumored) Doctor Strange. But you're not looking at the big picture. A single, measly biopic is but a dot of paint on the glorious canvas of the Cumber-epoch, the great cinematic meta-movement in whose shadow we will all soon exist. And if that doesn't win you over, just think of the crossover fanfiction opportunities. Steve Jobs will be solving locked-room murders with his level-headed partner Wozniak (played by Martin Freeman) within minutes of the casting announcement.
Liam Neeson: Dudes love Liam Neeson, right? In this adaptation, Steve Jobs suddenly remembers the daughter he told a court wasn’t his. Full of remorse, he calls her, only to find she’s going to Europe for spring break. When her plane is greeted by wolves, Jobs must fight off the wolves and the terrorists they’ve teamed up with in operation Lisa. The personal computer Lisa was a fiasco, but operation Lisa can’t be — not if Jobs ever wants to see his daughter again.
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Meryl Streep: In her storied career, Streep has been nominated for 18 Academy Awards and 28 Golden Globes. She is one of just three living actors to have won an Oscar three times; in 2010, President Obama awarded her the National Medal of Arts. Despite this success, one honor has eluded Meryl Streep her entire life — the honor of playing iconic Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on film. This is a travesty. Now that she is 65, this may be Streep’s final chance to play Jobs in a movie. The time is now; the moment belongs to her. If you thought Streep’s Margaret Thatcher was amazing, wait until you see her in a black turtleneck and dad jeans introducing iPod to the world.
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Daniel Day-Lewis: This isn’t a particularly inspired casting choice: Daniel Day-Lewis is just a consistently great actor, and it’s hard to imagine this movie going poorly with him in the lead. Day-Lewis is also famous for putting on some dramatically transformative performances, and with how well known Jobs’ look and personality are, that might be necessary if Boyle wants to bring audiences along.
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Cate Blanchett: Cate Blanchett has already been here before. In the trippy pseudo-biopic I’m Not There she not only out Bob Dylan-ed Christian Bale, she also blew away the performances of four other actors who all played the folk singer at different stages of his career. This time around Bale has left the production before it even started filming, so the idea of Blanchett sinking her teeth into playing another male pop culture icon with no competition is too tantalizing to pass on. Her complete absorption of Dylan’s temperamental mannerisms, judgemental stare, and disdain for the press not only displayed her transformative acting abilities, but makes her perfect for capturing what made Jobs such a polarizing figure.
James Franco: I don’t know, what isn’t James Franco doing these days? It can be hard to take him seriously sometimes, but with good direction, Franco can do serious really well. That’s particularly true of his work with Boyle, who directed him on 127 Hours — he even picked up an Oscar nomination for it. Plus, Franco looks great in a sweater.
Kanye West: Kanye has already declared himself the "Steve [Jobs] of internet, downtown, fashion, [and] culture. Period. By a long jump." He may as well just be Steve Jobs next.