Buys rights from Sony for reported $30 million; Boyle still to direct
As a follow-up to a story we reported on last week, Universal Studios has officially bought the rights to the Steve Jobs biopic already in pre-production from Sony, which had placed the project in "turnaround" on Thursday. Universal is said to have paid Sony $30 million to transfer the picture to the latter's control, retaining director Danny Boyle and reportedly confirming actor Michael Fassbender to play the lead role. There is still no firm announcement on when shooting will commence.
Project has seen original director, star, now studio drop out in pre-production
The Sony-backed Steve Jobs biographical movie, based in part on Walter Issacson's biography of the Apple co-founder, has proven to be nearly as mercurial as the reputation of its subject. In recent weeks, not one but two rumored stars of the project have dropped out, the original director was replaced with an Oscar-winning substitute, and now -- according to trade magazine Deadline -- Sony has put the film in "turnaround," offering it to sale to other studios, with Universal said to be making a play for it.
Writer reveals small role in Jobs' Stanford commencement speech
Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who has penned the screenplay for the forthcoming Sony-backed movie about Steve Jobs, was interviewed on the project by Emily Chang of Bloomberg and revealed that he had met and spoken on the phone to Jobs a few times, along with some minor details about the upcoming film. Sorkin told Chang that the movie will follow Jobs' interactions with a number of key people, including Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and former CEO John Sculley. He also detailed his encounters with Jobs.
Would be replacing Christian Bale
Actor Michael Fassbender is now in early negotiations for the lead role in Sony's Steve Jobs biopic, sources tell Variety. Christian Bale recently made a surprise departure from the project, even as names like Seth Rogen have become attached to supporting roles. In explaining the move, Bale said he came to the conclusion that he wasn't right for playing Jobs.
Actor allegedly decided he didn't match part
Actor Christian Bale has decided to drop out of Sony's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter. The project was reportedly on schedule to start shooting this winter, and director Danny Boyle is said to be Los Angeles this week meeting with actors and actresses, including Seth Rogen, who could be playing Steve Wozniak. Bale, though, has allegedly decided he wasn't right for the lead role, and opted out of the movie.
Unique model known to have been sold by Jobs himself
An unusual Apple I -- estimated to be worth $600,000 -- will be put up for auction at Christie's on December 11, according to Reuters. While a number of Apple I models are still in existence, the system in question is not only fully-functional, but has documentation indicating that it was sold directly by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. It was originally purchased for $600 by a man named Charles Ricketts; on a canceled check made out to Apple Computer, he wrote "Purchased July 1976 from Steve Jobs in his parents' garage in Los Altos." A second check, for $193, reads "Software NA Programmed by Steve Jobs August 1976."
Jessica Chastain could take unidentified role
Actor Seth Rogen may have been cast to star as Steve Wozniak in Sony's upcoming Steve Jobs biopic, sources tell Variety. Rogen is best known for his comedy roles, starring in movies like Neighbors and This is the End, but he has also appeared in dramas such as 50/50. The sources add that Jessica Chastain is under consideration for the movie as well, but what role she might play is unknown.
Christian Bale to play Steve Jobs in biopic, according to interview
Christian Bale is set to play the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in the forthcoming biopic film written by Aaron Sorkin. Previously considered for Leonardo DiCaprio, Aaron Sorkin said in Bloomberg interview that there wasn't a need for Bale to audition for the role due to being a good fit. The latest screenplay is comprised of three thirty minute scenes of backstage goings on prior to three keynote presentations.
DiCaprio passes on role
Actor Christian Bale is in talks to play Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin, sources tell Variety. The movie is based on Walter Isaacson's popular biography, which was released just weeks after Jobs died in 2011 and featured rare, previously-unheard information gleaned through Jobs' cooperation. Bale is best known for movies such as Empire of the Sun, The Dark Knight, and American Psycho.
Leonardo DiCaprio drops out of consideration for Jobs role; Boyle on as new director
The Sony Pictures-produced, Aaron Sorkin-authored big-budget biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs has undergone some changes recently, notes The Hollywood Reporter. Original director David Fincher who was previously reported to have left the project, has been replaced by Slumdog Millionaire's Danny Boyle. Boyle, who wanted Leonardo DiCaprio for the title role in the movie, will have to pick another star, as DiCaprio has dropped out of the race for the part. Other actors possibly in the running include Ben Affleck, Christian Bale (Fincher's original choice), Bradley Cooper and Matt Damon.
Says co-founder's influence is still present in every new product and service
As he has done each year since taking over as CEO, Tim Cook has written a memo to all Apple employees reflecting on the death of co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs. In this latest note, Cook says he will be thinking of Jobs on Sunday, the third anniversary of his passing. He thanks employees for "helping carry Steve's legacy into the future," and notes that even projects that were begun after Jobs's death still carry his "unmistakeable" influence.
Company is a 'very different place,' but changing market suits Cook's management style
A hit-and-miss profile on Apple CEO Tim Cook has brought some new details to light about changes made at Apple since Cook took over in late 2011. It also confirms that the Apple Watch project was started after former CEO and co-founder Steve Jobs died, that the consolidation of hardware and software teams that led to Scott Forstall's ouster was a deliberate move by Cook, and that those who work with him have no doubts about the ability of the company to continue innovating.
Apple Watch may be first new product never seen by Jobs, Apple Pay 'incredibly safe'
In interviews with the Wall Street Journal and ABC News' David Muir, Apple CEO Tim Cook reiterated many of the sentiments expressed during the Tuesday press even that introduced the two new iPhone 6 models, the Apple Watch wearable and the Apple Pay mobile payments system. He also, however, had a few words in response to questions, ranging from his thoughts on Steve Jobs in the three years since his passing, and how the iPhone 6 will trigger "the mother of all upgrades."
Architecture partly designed by Steve Jobs
The US Patent and Trademark Office has granted an Apple design patent on the most recent incarnation of the glass cube sitting over the Fifth Avenue Apple Store in New York City. The original cube -- paid for and partly designed by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs -- used 90 panes of glass. In 2011, however, Apple spent some $6.7 million on installing a redesigned, more visually-appealing version of the cube with just 15 panes, taking advantage of advances in glass technology.
Directors, executives accused of bringing company into legal trouble
A new lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff R. Andre Klein, is seeking damage compensation for Apple shareholders as a result of alleged misconduct by the company's directors and executives. Lawyers for Klein accuse former CEO Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook and others of "breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services." Specifically, by engaging in anti-poaching practices, Apple leaders are said to have caused the company to break antitrust laws, issue misleading proxy statements, and suppress workers' wages.
Strategy would've detoured around iPhone's lack of 3G
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs once wanted to make shared Wi-Fi commonplace in homes and small businesses, says Re/Code's Walt Mossberg. The impetus is said to have been the first-generation iPhone, which lacked 3G. Although people could get around slow 2G speeds by connecting to Wi-Fi, most hotspots were and are password-protected, and Jobs wanted people to be able to leap seamlessly from network to network, much in the same way people transition between celltowers without noticing.
Apple CEO will make unspecified contribution in Campbell's honor
In something of an "exit interview" with Fortune magazine, outgoing Director Bill Campbell -- who started with Apple in 1983 and has served on the Board of Directors since 1997 -- talked about the late Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook, his sideline seat watching Apple go from nearly broke to the most valuable publicly-traded company in the world and other topics. He also revealed that Cook plans to make a contribution to Campbell's hometown of Homestead, Pennslyvania.
Exhibit foreshadows opening of USPTO satellite office in Colorado capitol
A week or so ahead of the grand opening of a new US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) building in Denver, Colorado, the central library branch of the Denver Public Library is hosting a USPTO-created exhibit featuring life-size models of the some of the many inventions and patents that are jointly or solely credited to Steve Jobs, the co-founder and twice former CEO of Apple. "Patents and Trademarks of Steve Jobs: Art and Technology that Changed the World" will run through September.
Bono says current Apple products still hide RED logo
U2 frontman/(Product) RED creator Bono squared off with former Apple CEO Steve Jobs about RED branding, a Cannes interview (below) reveals. Some proceeds from RED-branded products go toward the Global Fund, a charity that combats AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, particularly in Africa. Bono notes however that when Apple was first entering the program, Jobs wanted to remove the parentheses to stop anything from "interfering with the logo." After some time to sleep on the idea, Jobs partially conceded, but still blocked parentheses from being used in Apple Stores.
Company still operating by core principles laid down by Jobs, designer says
In a fuller version of an interview given to The New York Times by Apple senior VP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive, the head of Apple's hardware and software creative design team has revealed that the team has been working "for years" with "new materials" not previously seen (at least, not on a large scale) in previous Apple products, and that new products are in active development. He also dismissed the notion that the engine of innovation at Apple has changed without Steve Jobs at the helm.
Music mogul relies heavily on gut instinct, highly opinionated, shuns publicity
The Wall Street Journal on Friday published a profile of hip-hop artist and producer Andre Young, better known as Dr. Dre -- whose company, Beats Electronics, has been sold to Apple for $3 billion, pending regulatory approval. The article paints Young as an obsessive, thoughtful talent who relies heavily on taste and instinct rather than market research, with one colleague describing the 49-year-old as a "cultural barometer" of what is in vogue, with great development skills and strong intuition.
Apple insists promise was 'too vague'
A judge for the Santa Clara County Superior Court, Carol Overton, has given the go-ahead for a lawsuit targeting Apple over job promises. The plaintiff, Wayne Goodrich, says that he reported directly to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs for over 20 years, including not just time at Apple -- where he spent 17 years -- but also at Pixar and NeXT. His role involved preparing Jobs' public presentations, which have often been a huge draw for the media and helped to sell products like the iMac, iPod, and iPhone.
Producer is chair of Interscope Geffen, suggested buyout of Universal
Revisiting his notes, Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson has said that he thinks the rumored $3.2 billion Apple buyout of Beats Electronics may not be primarily about the latter company's accessories and music service. He said that he believes that the deal centers primarily around gaining Iovine and his access to content companies and producers that may make any agreement worth the money.
Full special to be aired Tuesday night
CNBC has ranked Apple co-founder Steve Jobs #1 in First 25: Rebels, Icons & Leaders, a new list of people who have "had the greatest influence, sparked the biggest changes and created the most disruption in business over the past quarter century." In talking about Jobs, the network says he took first place "for both transforming the way we think about technology and redefining the style in which we live." It adds that "More than any other member of our group of extraordinary entrepreneurs and executives - all outstanding leaders - his vision spurred changes far beyond his industry and put an indelible stamp on the wider culture."
Fincher out, Boyle in as director; Bale out, DiCaprio in as Jobs
Following the alleged pullout of planned director David Fincher -- and possibly his choice to play the title role, Christian Bale -- the latest speculation on Sony Pictures' Steve Jobs biopic has it that the studio is now talking to Danny Boyle to helm the multi-million dollar movie, and goes on to say that Boyle's choice for the Jobs role is Leonard DiCaprio. Boyle, best known for Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, is rumored to be the leading candidate following Fincher's walkout over fees and marketing control demands, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
Shows brief glimpse of interior design
A newly-leaked video -- strongly believed to have been produced by Apple -- promotes the design of Apple's upcoming Campus 2 building in Cupertino. The clip (below) features interviews with key members of the project, such as architects and arborists, as well as shots of lead Apple designer Jonathan Ive, and archival footage of company co-founder Steve Jobs. Jobs' presentation to the Cupertino city council about the building was one of his last public appearances.
Jobs' personality a potential controversy
Plaintiffs' attorneys in a class action lawsuit against Apple, Google, and two other companies are asking that evidence related to Apple CEO Steve Jobs be included in the case, Reuters reports. The case revolves around the anti-poaching agreements Apple and Google -- and later, other high-tech businesses -- forged to keep salaries low and talent in place. The accused parties settled a US Department of Justice investigation on the matter in 2010, agreeing to end barriers to competitive hiring.
Public assumed to be worried about Apple's prospects
Samsung decided to launch its "Next Big Thing" campaign -- parodying Apple -- in the wake of the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, according to an email trail exposed during the ongoing Apple v. Samsung patent trial. Samsung America's VP of US sales, Mike Pennington, described Jobs' death as "the best opportunity" to run a campaign targeting Apple, since people would be worried about whether Apple could continue to come up with great ideas minus Jobs' influence. "Sorry to continue to push this issue, but I have seen this far too long and I know this is our best opportunity to attack iPhone," Pennington is quoted as saying.
Wanted Christian Bale in the role of Jobs, $10M fee, marketing control
Those hoping for a reunion of the team that made The Social Network into a critical and commercial success will be disappointed to learn that -- at least for now -- that film's director, David Fincher, is off the Sony Pictures "Steve Jobs" project, according to industry trade reports. Fincher, along with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, was set to tackle Sony's big-budget interpretation of Walter Isaacson's biography of Jobs, but has pulled out over the issue of fees and marketing control, sources claim.
Shows interest in Apple TV, MobileMe improvements
As a byproduct of the patent trial between Apple and Samsung currently going on in San Francisco, a number of previously-confidential Apple emails have seen the light of day. Some talk about how to react to Samsung's marketing bombardment, since it outspent all rivals but Apple combined on advertising its smartphones; others reveal additional details on things already known. A 2010 email from Steve Jobs, shown in court, reveals a little of how Apple works to improve itself.
Ultimatum from Jobs was fuel to invent numerous features
Greg Christie, one of the original iPhone engineers and a witness likely to be called in the second Apple-Samsung patent trial starting next week, has revealed in a new interview that an "ultimatum" from then-CEO Steve Jobs pushed his team into creating the core of the "iPhone OS" (as it was called then) in just two weeks. The full interview, conducted by the Wall Street Journal, goes into detail about the secrecy required of the project and how the team came to invent much of what consumers think of as the principles of a smartphone operating system.
Messages describe 'irate' calls from Steve Jobs
A newly-published set of emails explicitly detail the anti-poaching agreements reached between Apple, Google, and a collection of other high-tech firms. The companies settled a US Department of Justice investigation on the matter in 2010, but are still dealing with class action litigation. One of the instigators of the anti-poaching deals appears to have been former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who made "irate" calls to Google co-founder Sergey Brin in February 2005, complaining that Google was trying to hire away members of the Safari development team. Brin mentions "veiled threats" from Jobs; after a second call, he adds that "Basically, he [Jobs] said 'if you hire a single one of these people that means war'."
Movie could start filming by end of 2014
Director David Fincher is considering Dark Knight and American Hustle star Christian Bale as his "first choice" to lead in Sony's Steve Jobs biopic, says The Wrap. Fincher is alleged to have met with Sony's Amy Pascal recently to discuss the possibility of his directing, but insisted that he would only direct if Bale can play Jobs. Fincher and Pascal previously collaborated on the remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Bale reportedly hasn't been approached yet, but mainly because he's said to be taking time off with family after finishing his role as Moses in Ridley Scott's Exodus.
Top Apple executives cast doubt on book
Apple's senior VP for Internet Software and Services, Eddy Cue, is denying an incident mentioned in the recent Yukari Iwatani Kane book Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs. The book claims that at one point, Jobs threw a pen at Cue's face. Asked if the anecdote is true, Cue told a reporter "No it's not."
Book claims declining Apple culture
Yukari Iwatani Kane's book Haunted Empire: Apple After Steve Jobs is "nonsense," claims Apple CEO Tim Cook. "This nonsense belongs with some of the other books I've read about Apple," he says in a statement to CNBC. "It fails to capture Apple, Steve, or anyone else in the company. Apple has over 85,000 employees that come to work each day to do their best work, to create the world's best products, to put their mark in the universe and leave it better than they found it. This has been the heart of Apple from day one and will remain at the heart for decades to come. I am very confident about our future."
YouTube for iOS hits version 2.5, adds playlist and comment features
Google has updated its YouTube iOS app for the iPhone and iPad (free) to version 2.5, which brings the ability to share and like playlists of videos and access one's own favorites playlists from the built-in guide. Previously, users could only share videos rather than collections of videos. Also added to the iOS app is the ability to reply to comments, see if a comment was shared privately or publicly, and delete one's own comments.
Unusual single building will house 12,000 employees in far less space
One of the most overlooked factors in the spaceship-like ring design of Apple's forthcoming "Campus 2" is that the building is expected to house some 12,000 employees in a single (albeit enormous) structure -- about the same as Hewlett-Packard, the previous occupants of the land, house in more than 26 buildings formerly on the property. Chief Architect Norman Foster has recently revealed more details about the building's origins.
Fight Club director allegedly in talks
David Fincher -- famous for directing movies like Fight Club and The Social Network -- could be put at the helm of the upcoming Sony Steve Jobs biopic written by Aaron Sorkin, writes the Hollywood Reporter. The publication says that Fincher is in talks for the movie, the script for which was finished in January. The movie is expected to revolve around three scenes, lasting about 30 minutes each, set during three Apple product launches.
Scale model will be sent to Apple for final approval
On the date of what would have been Steve Jobs' 59th birthday, an abstract statue featuring a bust of the Apple co-founder and computer age icon was previewed through a scaled-down model that is bound for Cupertino for final approval. The finished obelisk, when completed, will stand 10 to 16.4 feet in height and be installed somewhere on Apple's Cupertino campus. The work was selected from more than 10,000 entries in a contest.
Company still closely tied to co-founder's public image
Via Twitter, Apple CEO Tim Cook has posted a pair of quotes from company co-founder Steve Jobs on what would've been his 59th birthday. "Details matter, it's worth waiting to get it right," one of them reads. The other is Jobs' more famous adopted motto, "Stay hungry, stay foolish," which he took inspiration from (it originally appeared on the back cover of the last edition of The Whole Earth Catalog). To that quote, Cook adds that "We honor him by continuing the work he loved so much."
Apple co-founder stamp said to be already under development
The US Postal Service is planning to create a collectible stamp featuring Apple co-founder for former CEO Steve Jobs, reports The Washington Post. The information comes from a list of upcoming stamps uncovered by the newspaper, which also includes a number of cultural icons, including African-American architect Robert Robinson Taylor; entertainer Johnny Carson; movie star Ingrid Bergman, part of a "Legends of Hollywood" series; and music icons Elvis Presley and James Brown, again part of a set of music-related stamps.
Capsule included Lisa mouse used by Jobs
Excavators have manged to locate a time capsule, buried in 1983, that contained a Lisa mouse used by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. At that year's Aspen International Design Conference in Colorado, Jobs gave a talk in which he foreshadowed technologies like tablets and wireless networks. Conference attendees were asked to contribute items to the "Aspen Time Tube," which has since become known as the "Steve Jobs Time Capsule," owing to the presence of the Lisa mouse.
Part of the US tradition of 'inventor-heros,' captured in pre-Mac era
A rarely-seen picture of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs is now hanging in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC. The image, part of the "American Cool" exhibit, shows a bearded, long-haired Jobs from 1981, riding a motorcycle between meetings on Apple's campus. The photographer responsible for the image, Charles O'Rear, is also well-known for the iconic, digitally-generated "Rolling hills/Teletubbyland" background used for Microsoft's Windows XP.
ABC to air interview with Apple CEO on January 24
In what many might see as an unusual move for a forward-looking company, Apple is helping to celebrate the upcoming 30th anniversary of the Macintosh on Friday by talking with the press about the history of the company as well as its future. Macworld has just published an interview with several of the executive team -- Phil Schiller, Craig Federighi and software technology chief Bud Tribble -- while CEO Tim Cook will appear on ABC World News tomorrow evening.
Partnership agreement shines light on little-known chapter
A 1978 legal agreement between two college buddies -- Steve Jobs, who was already involved at the time with Apple Computer, and Robert Friedland, who went on to become a mining tycoon and billionaire -- setting up partnership for an investment business has fetched $40,000 at auction. The eight-page legal document, creating a "place of business" in McMinnville, Oregon for dealing with real estate investments, bears the signatures of both men.
Movie drew mixed reviews, but was first in race to capture Jobs on film
Following its national theatrical debut in August, the independent biopic Jobs, starring Ashton Kutcher in the title role of Apple's mercurial co-founder, is now available for sale on DVD and digital formats in stores and online, including Apple's own iTunes. The film, the first full-length theatrical movie to profile Jobs following his death in October 2011, received mixed reviews from critics and audiences alike, but was notable for Kutcher's strong resemblance to Jobs.
Dropbox chief says iCloud was direct shot at Dropbox
Dropbox founder and CEO Drew Houston says that late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs settled on killing off the popular file syncing system when Houston declined Jobs' offer of an acquisition. IT Business reported this week on Houston's remarks, which came in the course of a discussion on stage at Dreamforce, the annual Salesforce.com conference in San Francisco. Houston says that the unveiling of iCloud was a direct shot at Dropbox, one he says the company has proudly survived.
Eddy Cue talks friendship, Jobs' help with wife's cancer
Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs has received a posthumous induction into the Bay Area Business Hall of Fame. The induction actually took place last Thursday, but a new video of the ceremony highlights both Jobs' track record and a speech from Apple's senior VP of Internet software and services, Eddy Cue. Cue discusses how Jobs became a friend, and ended up helping his wife as she struggled with cancer.
Site represents origin of first Apple computers
The one-time Los Altos home of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, 2066 Crist Drive, has been designated a "historic resource" by the Los Altos Historical Commission. The group has voted unanimously in favor of an initiative to protect the space, which the Commission itself has been pursuing for about two years. As a consequence of this week's decision, Patricia Jobs -- Steve's sister, and the current owner of the home -- will be subject to extra review requirements if she chooses to make renovations. The Commission will also be able to make recommendations to City Council about any proposals.
Includes video featuring Steve Jobs, live presentation by Dan Whisenhunt
The city of Cupertino's government has posted a complete video of a planning commission "study session" that included a presentation and questions about Apple's proposed Campus 2 project. The video begins with the initial "pitch" video of Apple's designs and plans for Campus 2, including audio from Steve Jobs during his initial presentation of the project, and comments from chief architect Norman Foster. Apple SVP of Design Sir Jonathan Ive is also seen in the promotional video.