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Morning Report: Sony Dumps Steve Jobs Biopic, WALTR for Mac, Lightroom 5.7

Steve Jobs

Hollywood loved former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, but Sony just can’t seem to get an official screen adaptation of the iconic figure’s life off the ground. Our Thursday Morning Report has details on how Sony grounded the high-flying project and what happens next, along with a nifty new Mac app for syncing video and music, plus an update to Adobe Lightroom.

Steve Jobs Biopic Axed by Sony, Could Land at Universal

The official big screen adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s biography on the life of late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs appears to be going through a rough patch in recent weeks after losing both Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale for the lead role. Now the entire project could be in jeopardy, at least with the studio where it all started.

According to The Hollywood Reporter
, the unnamed Steve Jobs movie has been placed into “turnaround,” a fancy Tinseltown way of kicking the project out the door. With a script from The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin and director Danny Boyle attached, producers Scott Rudin, Mark Gordon, and Guymon Casady are reportedly now scrambling to set the project up at Universal instead.

The report claims the project hit a wall when Boyle pushed for a January start date, while Sony planned to get production underway later in 2015. Michael Fassbender appears to be the frontrunner to play Jobs, but is committed to shooting X-Men: Apocalypse in the spring, which would likely take him out of the running had Sony gotten its way.

WALTR for Mac Aims to Make iTunes Media Sync Obsolete

After more than seven years, one of the most maddening things about owning an iOS device continues to be the rigid format restrictions for syncing movies, TV shows, and music with iTunes. Prefer MKV or AVI video, or FLAC audio formats? Sorry, you’ll need to convert them to MP4 first, or rely on a third-party app to play them back.

As first noted by MacRumors on Wednesday, a new Mac app called WALTR takes all of this pain away with a simple drag-and-drop interface that skips iTunes entirely. Plug in a device, launch WALTR, and drag nearly any media file onto the application — including normally unsupported formats like MKV, AVI, FLAC, and CUE — and within a few moments, that media is ready to play in the native iOS Videos or Music app.

WALTR is available as a free 14-day demo from publisher Softorino, who is currently discounting a single lifetime license key at only .97 (normally .95); a five-pack is also available for only .97.

Adobe Releases Lightroom 5.7, Camera Raw 8.7

Adobe announced the release of Lightroom 5.7 on Wednesday, along with an update to Camera Raw 8.7. Available for download from Adobe.com, Creative Cloud Desktop, or the in-application update, Lightroom 5.7 now includes the previously available Aperture import tool, as well as improvements to Synced Collections that make it easier to share images and manage comments or likes from friends and family.

Camera Raw 8.7 is also available for owners of Photoshop CS6 or Photoshop CC, with improvements to batch processing images, new camera and lens profile support, and the requisite round of bug fixes. Photoshop CS6 users also receive DNG Converter 8.7 as part of the same update.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter


Magneto Now in Talks to Play Steve Jobs

Danny Boyle may have lost his leading man of choice for the role of Steve Jobs in his upcoming biopic, but the Slumdog Millionaire director isn’t ready to give up. Just a day after word surfaced that Christian Bale would no longer be playing Apple’s visionary but bad-tempered co-founder, news came in from Variety that Michael Fassbender was already in talks to take over the role.

It could work, but Fassbender doesn’t seem as safe of a choice as Bale and Leonardo di Caprio were. His best-known role so far is that of young Magneto in the latest X-Men movies, followed closely by the android David in Prometheus. But he’s certainly one of Hollywood’s most notable rising stars. His work as Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and he wowed critics and audiences alike in Inglourious Basterds and Shame.

The question remains as to whether Fassbender can pull off the range needed for the role. The production itself has been mired with setbacks almost since we first heard about it, whether it’s because of the departure of A-list actors like Bale or even directors in the case of David Fincher, who dropped out owing to alleged contract disputes.

Aaron Sorkin, best known as the screenwriter for similarly tech-related The Social Network, penned the script, which reportedly focuses on Jobs’ involvement in the development of the first Mac, NeXT, and the iPod.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Christian Bale Says ‘No’ to Steve Jobs Role

Christian Bale seemed so perfect for the role of Steve Jobs in the upcoming Danny Boyle biopic. He had the acting chops, the looks, and of course, the temper. Alas, it’s not to be. Despite a wave of excitement for his casting that brought coverage all the way to Conan O’Brien’s show (see video below), the Hollywood Reporter claims that Bale stepped down because he believed he “was not right for the part.”

Other people certainly feel the opposite. First there’s director Danny Boyle, who reportedly hired Bale without so much as an audition. Director David Fincher was originally supposed to helm the film, but bailed himself after he looked like he couldn’t secure Bale for the role earlier in the year. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin even had high hopes for Bale in the role in a Variety article, claiming that the Dark Knight actor would “crush it.”

What could have been. (Team Coco parody)

It’s possible the news might affect other casting as well. Sometime comedic actor Seth Rogen was all but confirmed to play Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak as recently as last week, and actress Jessica Chastain was said to be in talks for an unspecified role. It’s also worth noting that Bale isn’t the first major actor to back away from the role: Leonardo DiCaprio pulled out earlier this year after expressing a desire for a break from acting.

The project increasingly looks doomed or set for delays, which is a shame since Aaron Sorkin’s script could achieve the same acclaimed he won for the script for The Social Network, based on the life of Facebook co-founder. (Notably, Sorkin didn’t exactly stick to the facts for Zuckerberg’s tale, which inevitably invites concern as to whether he’d take similar liberties with Jobs’ life.) The script itself, based on Walter Isaacson’s acclaimed biography, is said to consist of three long scenes, each centering on a key product launch from Jobs’ life.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Seth Rogen Likely to Play Steve ‘Woz’ Wozniak in New Steve Jobs Biopic

According to a report by Variety, actor Seth Rogen will likely be playing Apple co-founder Steve “Woz” Wozniak in the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic starring Christian Bale. There’s a touch of iffiness about the claim as TheWrap notes that Rogen doesn’t have a deal in place, but most sources agree that Rogen is at least in talks for the role.

Rogen will reportedly get to work with Woz himself for advice on the role, which is based on Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography of Jobs. The screenplay itself, written by Aaron Sorkin of The Social Network fame, consists of three lengthy scenes corresponding to three major product launches from Jobs’ life. Danny Boyle, best known for films like Slumdog Millionaire and 28 Days Later, will direct the film.

Source: IndieWire

Rogen himself is usually best known for his comedic work in films like Superbad and The 40-Year-Old Virgin, but lately he’s tackled more serious work in films like Take This Waltz to much acclaim. Sorkin’s script might allow for both ends of his range. As for Woz, he left Apple way back in 1987, but media outlets still often seek his opinion on the latest developments from the Cupertino company he founded.

The followup report from TheWrap also claims that Jessica Chastain of Zero Dark Thirty fame is also in talks for the film, although the role in consideration currently isn’t known. Production will reportedly begin sometime next spring.

Follow this article’s writer, Leif Johnson, on Twitter.


Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs Biopic Finally Hits Theaters on Aug. 16

Ashton Kutcher

In Hollywood, the month of August is typically reserved as a dumping ground for movies that probably never had a chance in the first place — which seems to be the case with Ashton Kutcher’s star turn as Steve Jobs.

Deadline reported Tuesday that Open Road Films has finally pinned a date on the calendar when Apple fans can venture out to see Ashton Kutcher starring as the late Steve Jobs.

Five Star Films’ independent biopic JOBS will finally hit theaters on Friday, August 16, 2013 after being delayed four months from its original target date back in April.

JOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2001,” the film’s synopsis reveals. “The film plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs’ life.”

While distributor Open Road claimed it wanted more time to properly market the film, the August debut is likely to be viewed as the company having little faith in the project, which will be released at a time when many moviegoers are on vacation and kids are headed back to school.

Be that as it may, Ashton Kutcher will be joined onscreen by Josh Gad as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, and the film also stars Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine.

Follow this article’s author, J.R. Bookwalter on Twitter



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