Why Ashton Kutcher May be the Only Steve Jobs We Get

Aaron Sorkin's biopic about Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs lost out on Christian Bale, then Leonardo DiCaprio, and now Natalie Portman. It also lost its studio backing, and if the project keeps on its current path, the only big screen Steve Jobs we'll get comes from critically panned "Jobs" starring Ashton Kutcher.

Steve Jobs movie may be falling on hard timesSteve Jobs movie may be falling on hard times

Both Bale and DiCaprio were tagged as potentials to play the iconic Steve Jobs, but Bale declined and DiCaprio backed out. Natalie Portman has apparently decided to skip over the part of Mr. Jobs' daughter Lisa.

News of Ms. Portman's decision comes courtesy of Variety, although there isn't any official word on exactly why she turned down the part.

Sony pulled out of the project after Mr. DiCaprio decided he was out, so Universal has stepped in to take over. It seems the studio lost faith in the project and wanted to cut its losses before it completely fell apart.

Currently, Danny Boyle is attached as the movie's director, with Michael Fassbender cast as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogan as Steve Wozniak. Prior to Mr. Boyle signing as director, David Fincher was set to direct, but was shut out by Sony over his demand for US$10 million up front.

Mr. Sorkin based his movie on the Walter Isaacson biography of Mr. Jobs' life. Interest in the project ran high because of the popularity of the book, plus Mr. Sorkin's attachment to the movie version.

Word on the street says the movie is still scheduled to start shooting in spring 2015, and casting is still ongoing — which makes sense considering key roles are still without actors. Considering how many people have dropped out or declined to sign on, however, the project has an uphill battle before it hits the big screen.

Drama surrounding a movie production isn't anything new, but when it hits a point where studios start backing out, that's a bad sign. If Mr. Sorkin can't keep his stars on board and Universal excited about the movie, then he may not be able to keep the project alive.

Keeping the movie watching public interested is a big issue, too. The bio-like movie starrring Ashton Kutcher came out relatively quickly after the death of Mr. Jobs when general public interest in his life was high. As more time passes, the Hollywood hype surrounding his life will fade and it will get harder to draw viewers outside of the Apple fan base into theaters.

So far, Mr. Sorkin's movie hasn't been able to keep its actors, director, or studio. He does have a reputation for quality productions such as The West Wing, but that doesn't mean he can keep this movie on track, or get it out at the right time to draw in big crowds.

If not, that leaves us with "Jobs," and Ashton Kutcher. Sure, the movie has its fans, but it didn't do well in theaters. And unless Mr. Sorkin can find a way to get his movie back on track, it may be the only one we get.