The development of Aaron Sorkin's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic has been a troubled one, with the film ultimately being picked up by Universal Pictures after Sony unceremoniously dropped it last month. Now, emails leaked with the recent Sony breach reveal that Sorkin originally wanted Tom Cruise to play the lead role. However, it was the decision to go with Michael Fassbender that caused Sony to drop the movie altogether.
According to Ars Technica, Sorkin sent a series of emails on October 31st — just days before Christian Bale was officially out as Jobs— naming Cruise as the ideal choice, even saying he could put on a "dazzling performance:"
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.
Director Danny Boyle decided to go with Michael Fassbender, however, and the studio couldn't drum up enough financing to support the decision, allowing for the movie to move to Universal. Sorkin reportedly said, "Fuck it. He's a great actor whose time has come," when the studio moved forward on the decision.
The leaked details come as Sony Pictures is currently dealing with a massive hack on it servers. Hackers breached corporate computers in the week before Thanksgiving, and more break-ins have been made to prevent the studio from releasing The Interview, starring James Franco and Seth Rogen. Rogen is currently slated to star in the Jobs film as Steve Wozniak.