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Friday, November 18, 2011, 09:05 am PT (12:05 pm ET)

George Clooney, Noah Wyle battling to play Steve Jobs in biopic

As Hollywood rushes to make a film on the life of Steve Jobs, two prominent actors — George Clooney and Noah Wyle — are both rumored to be in contention for the lead role.

According to the U.K.'s NOW Magazine, Clooney, 50, is battling with the 40-year-old Wyle for the right to play the Apple co-founder. Filming of the movie is expected to start in 2012.

Both Wyle and Clooney starred on NBC's medical drama "ER" as doctors. The bulk of Clooney's appearances as Dr. Doug Ross came between 1994 and 1999, while Wyle's Dr. John Carter held a lead role from 1994 to 2005.

The rumored inclusion of Wyle is also significant because the actor already played Steve Jobs once, in the 1999 TV movie "Pirates of Silicon Valley," which told the story of the development of the personal computer and the rivalry between Apple and Microsoft. The film also featured Anthony Michael Hall as Bill Gates, and Joey Slotnick as Steve Wozniak.

Quickly after Jobs passed away in October, Sony acquired the rights to the new biography of the Apple co-founder authored by Walter Isaacson. When the book went on sale later that month, it became an instant hit, and is already one of the top-selling titles of 2011.

Jobs

Photos of Noah Wyle and George Clooney from Wikipedia.


Another rumor surrounding the movie cropped up in late October, when it was said that Aaron Sorkin, a screenwriter who won an Academy Award for his work on the film The Social Network, was being pursued by Sony to write the film about Jobs. Sorkin, at the time, was said to be "considering the project," but had not committed.

Sorkin was also behind the films Charlie Wilson's War, The American President, and Moneyball, as well as TV shows including The West Wing and Sports Night. Sorkin also knew Jobs personally, after the Apple CEO unsuccessfully attempted to convince him to write a film for Pixar, the award-winning animation studio Jobs sold to Disney for $7.4 billion in 2006.