Apparently not even lauded, Oscar-nominated directors can roll out just any old request they want on film projects.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, David Fincher, best known for directing "The Social Network" and "Fight Club," was set to helm the forthcoming Steve Jobs biopic based on Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography. Then he reportedly asked Sony Pictures to hand over $10 million upfront in fees along with control over the film's marketing. Now the studio is looking to replace Fincher, with sources close to Sony calling the director's fee "ridiculous." It should be noted, however, that nothing is official and it's entirely possible Fincher will come back. According to Deadline.com, the $10 million fee was not part of the reason why Fincher failed to commit to the film.
Regardless of the circumstances, the director is notorious for his demanding reputation. "David Fincher in a bad mood isn’t easy to discern from David Fincher in a good mood," "Social Network" scribe Aaron Sorkin wrote in a 2011 Vanity Fair essay. (Sorkin is also writing the script for the Jobs biopic.) Fincher was able to wrangle marketing control over Sony's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," including the use of "The feel bad movie of Christmas" as the tagline, but apparently the director's demands are more than the studio is willing to give this time around.
Whether Christian Bale, whom Fincher had apparently wanted to play Jobs, will still be considered for the role is up in the air, too. In that Deadline.com report, editor Mike Fleming Jr. noted that "insiders in the Bale camp" told him they had never discussed the role with anyone.