Steve Jobs (Younger)
The Actor: Christian Bale
Why? Presuming the film covers the majority of Jobs’ eventful life, they’ll need to cast more than one actor in the role to save offending his memory with any iffy age makeup.
Not only does Bale have a decent look for the young Jobs, but he’s a rare actor capable of both Zen philosophising (Jobs was a Buddhist) and bouts of passionate perfectionism, and has a singular intensity that'd be the perfect match for the Apple co-founder.
Stand-In: Edward Norton
Steve Jobs (Older)
The Actor: Stanley Tucci
Why? Have you seen Tucci? If they’re after an uncanny likeness, he’s got to be the go-to guy for the lead role. He’s also got the easy charm in spades, but he can bring the sterner stuff when necessary.
And he also has an affable, could-sell-ice-to-the-eskimos demeanour that would work well in third act scenes where he sells iPods/iMacs/iTunes/iPads to baying conference crowds. And he’s been a supporting scene-stealer for so long he deserves a title shot now.
Stand-In: Daniel Day-Lewis
Steve Wozniak (Apple Co-Founder)
The Actor: Mathieu Amalric
Why? ‘Woz’, a long-time friend of Jobs’, co-founded Apple computers in 1976, so he’d be pivotal to the story. Out of the pair, he was the engineering brain, building the computer hardware and circuitry that would go on to become the first Mac.
While Amalric’s nationality could be a small barrier (he’s French, Wozniak is American), he’d no doubt nail the part of a man who had quite the obsession with the minutiae of microchips.
Stand-In: Chuck Norris
Laurene Powell Jobs
The Actress: Greta Gerwig
Why? Jobs was famously guarded when it came to details of his private life, so it’s hard to guess whether or not his wife will feature in a notable role. That said it’d be hard to paint a portrait of the man without at least some reference to his family life.
So, you’d need an egoless actress, happy to potentially stay on the sidelines for most of the movie, who could also meld Powell Jobs’ spirituality with a keen intelligence for business (she sat on the Apple board, and also founded food company Terravera). Step in Gerwig…
Stand-In: Natalie Portman
John Sculley (Former Apple CEO)
The Actor: Billy Bob Thornton
Why? Sculley is sure to be a key player in the Steve Jobs biography (and, by extension, the movie version), as he was a catalyst in a dramatic moment in Jobs’ career.
Sculley was president of Pepsi-Cola before he was lured to Apple with Jobs’ sell: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” It wasn’t long before a tense rivalry formed between the pair, and Jobs was eventually ousted from the board in 1985, which lead to his resignation six months later.
Hopefully Thornton would be able to give Sulley an ambiguity as business-ally-turned-foe, rather than making him a one-note panto villain.
Stand-In: James Cromwell
Ross Perot (NeXT investor)
The Actor: Ian McKellen
Why? Where lesser folk would have gone off and sulked, Jobs wasted no time setting up another company. He created NeXT computers which soon got noticed by billionaire businessman Ross Perot, who invested heavily in the fledgling company.
If you were at a particularly low ebb, wouldn’t you want Ian McKellen to be your mysterious benefactor? Thought so. Perot also went on to run for US president twice, so perhaps he deserves a spin-off movie of his own.
Stand-In: Alan Alda
John Lasseter (Pixar Creative Chief)
The Actor: John C Reilly
Why? Jobs cemented his rep for having a superb eye for combining art and commerce when he bought Pixar from Lucasfilm for $10m in 1986. Jobs, Lasseter and Ed Catmull were the vital figures at the company’s inception.
After developing computer animation tools, the company took a groundbreaking leap into shorts and, later, feature films, which would have a profound effect on the animated market. Reilly would have the right blend of avuncular charm and rebellious can-do spirit to play Lasseter.
Stand-In: Jack Black
Jonathan Jony Ive (Apple Design Guru)
The Actor: Tom Hardy
Why? Jony Ive is the designer behind some of Apple’s most iconic products, including the iPod, iPhone, iMac and iPad. The Brit was born in London, but currently resides in San Francisco.
Hardy would be perfect as the innovative young go-getter who joined Apple in 1992, and was promoted to his current position after Jobs returned to the company in 1996. Plus, Hardy looks cool with a shaved head.
Stand-In: Sam Worthington
Bill Gates (Microsoft)
The Actor: Steve Buscemi
Why? The PC/Mac rivalry should be another key thread in the movie, but it’s imperative that it stays on the lighthearted side (to save cinemas from fanboy riots). And check out the wonderful ‘Ice Water in Hell’ anecdote here for evidence of the lack of any ill will between the pair.
Buscemi is sneering enough to be a hissable competitor, but no matter how sleazy the role, we can’t help but love him. And it wouldn't be a huge stretch to imagine him as a megabrained supergeek.
Stand-In: Philip Seymour Hoffman
Tim Cook (Apple CEO)
The Actor: William Hurt
Why? When it comes to the sad final chapter of the story, and Jobs steps down as CEO of Apple, he’s going to need someone who can fill his expectation-laden shoes with dignity and gravitas.
In real life, that man was Tim Cook, and we reckon William Hurt’s got the chops for the business side of the role, with enough inherent niceness to take on the position with good grace.
Stand-In: Dustin Hoffman
Is it too soon to make a movie about Steve Jobs? Or do his achievements deserve a cinematic celebration as soon as possible? Your thoughts please!