Leonardo DiCaprio has removed himself from contention to play Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in an upcoming, Danny Boyle-directed biopic. According to The Hollywood Reporter, DiCaprio – who had recently been in talks for the part – has bowed out in order to focus on his starring role in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s The Revenant, a western-thriller based in part on the life of legendary frontiersman Hugh Glass. After shooting that film, which is expected to hit theaters in 2015, DiCaprio reportedly plans to take a lengthy hiatus from acting.
The Jobs biopic is being adapted by acclaimed writer Aaron Sorkin from Walter Issacson’s 2011 book, Steve Jobs, which was published the month of Jobs’ death – and tells the tech pioneer’s story through interviews with co-workers, rivals, friends and family.
Given the high-profile and controversial character at its core, the project has been highly anticipated. But it’s faced a number of personnel challenges since Sony first optioned the film in 2011. David Fincher was previously in consideration to direct, but as The Hollywood Reporter revealed back in April, he walked away from the job following disagreements over compensation and marketing control. According to THR, Sony is now drafting a shortlist of possible contenders to replace DiCaprio – including Christian Bale, Matt Damon, Bradley Cooper and Ben Affleck.
Last year, Ashton Kutcher stunned critics with his unexpectedly dramatic turn as the Apple titan in Jobs. “It’s a quietly dazzling performance,” wrote Rolling Stone‘s Peter Travers in his review, though he called the film itself a “decidedly mixed bag.”