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Danny Boyle: My David Bowie film was scuppered by singer's block on music

Published 10/11/2015

Danny Boyle said his failure to get a David Bowie project off the ground made him even more determined to get his Steve Jobs biopic made
Danny Boyle said his failure to get a David Bowie project off the ground made him even more determined to get his Steve Jobs biopic made

Director Danny Boyle has revealed that a David Bowie project he wanted to do was stopped because the singer would not let the film-maker use his music.

Boyle said he and screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce, who wrote the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics, were left "in grief" when Bowie turned them down.

The Slumdog Millionaire director said he wanted his latest movie, about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, to "fill the space in my heart left by the abandoned Bowie script".

Talking to the Radio Times, Boyle said the let-down of the Bowie project made him even more determined to get the Jobs film made.

The new movie, with a screenplay by The West Wing's Aaron Sorkin, stars Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet.

Boyle told the Radio Times he was "desperate" for Fassbender to play the lead.

"I don't think there are many actors in the world who can take on that kind of role, but Michael is one of them."

Boyle added: "It was spooky. Michael made Jobs his own and the two became one. Jobs was totally binary: he said there were only gods and shitheads. He made beautiful things, but he was poorly made himself. Michael is tough on him. He brings a ferocity to him that is accurate, I think."

Oscar-winning Boyle also praised Winslet, who plays Jobs's colleague and confidante Joanna Hoffman.

"She's an amazing person to have on set. She talks to the crew about everything. I don't know why she doesn't make films.

"And she understood perfectly the dynamic between Jobs and Hoffman: behind every successful man is an astonishing - and astonished - woman."

Next year is the 20th anniversary of the release of Boyle's 1996 cult hit Trainspotting, and he hopes the second instalment will arrive to coincide with the anniversary.

"It's not called Porno!" he said in reference to the Irvine Welsh novel of the same name, on which it is loosely based.

"It's T2 for now. We've got a window for the original cast to shoot in spring 2016 and hopefully it will come out the same year, on the 20th anniversary of Trainspotting."

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