Leonardo DiCaprio Called ‘Despicable’ in New Sony Emails

Leonardo DiCaprio Sony Emails
Andrew Burton/Getty

Willow and Jaden Smith also slammed in latest messages; boss had kinder words for Ryan Gosling and George Clooney

It’s widely known that Leonardo DiCaprio was originally supposed to play Steve Jobs but later passed on the upcoming Aaron Sorkin movie. What isn’t common knowledge: how Amy Pascal and the film’s producer took the news.

“Horrible behavior,” producer Mark Gordon wrote. “Actually despicable,” Pascal corrected him.

According to the stolen emails, published by the Daily Beast on Saturday, Gordon had asked the Sony Pictures co-chairman whether DiCaprio’s decision to pull out of the Apple biopic was based on money or not.

Pascal replied “the latter.”

The role ultimately went to Michael Fassbender (after Christian Bale passed, too) and the movie, which originated at Sony, was eventually picked up by Universal Pictures.

Sony declined to comment on this story.

It’s the latest fallout from a paralyzing cyber-attack against Sony Pictures in recent weeks that has seen employee information, personal emails and unreleased movies hit the Web.

Also lambasted in the new emails were Willow and Jaden Smith, the children of one of the studio’s biggest moneymakers, Will Smith. Smith’s relationship with the studio extends all the way back to 1997, when he starred in “Men in Black.”

According to the Daily Beast, Tom Rothman, head of TriStar productions, sent a message to Sony Pictures Entertainment president Doug Belgrad on November 18 following the release of Willow and Jaden Smith’s now-infamous T Magazine interview. “1. Read this,” the email, which forwarded a link, read. “2. they r home schooled: don’t let this family date your movies!!!”

Meanwhile, exchanges between Pascal and Gosling’s talent manager Ilene Feldman had a much different tone.

“Ryan absolutely loved you,” Feldman wrote on October 3. “Said it was like speed dating because he was late after hitting every wrong gate on the lot. Not it should turn to marriage. He really wants to do something with you.”

Pascal then looked into what project Gosling was interested in pursuing, which is allegedly Paul Feig’s “Ghostbusters” female-reboot.

“There is one make [male] part paul is planning. How insane would that be… He also wants jennifer [Lawrence] and Emma [Stone],” she later wrote to Hannah Minghella, the other co-president of production at Columbia.

Other exchanges show that Sony also pursued “The Notebook” actor for “Sinister Six” and “Jobs.”

Another email chain contained an apology from George Clooney to Pascal about his lack of confidence in “The Monuments Men.”

Her reassurance to the Oscar-winner: box office is “the best revenge.”

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  1. Shane Forrest says:

    Leonardo can’t be despicable. He is the g-Scorpio in the book ‘Sun of Many Colors’ by Jacob Snow, just like Ryan Gosling.

  2. cowardobama says:


  3. John R says:

    Julia Chasma, you completely missed the point. This is the culture at SPE and maybe other studios. These suits at SPE are the imbeciles saying what movies will get produced and don’t, while I don’t personally give a shit as Sony hasn’t made a decent movie in years. I watched The Interview for free via torrent and it was goddamn awlful. Look at the numbers, Paramount, WB, Fox all have larger total grosses over the past few years.

    However terrible SPE’s film are; their bad mismanagement (corporate culture again) affects alot of people and therefore a lot of jobs.

    I think if other studios treated their employees as badly at SPE, someone would pull a “Snowden”. This is what has happened to SPE and they would release information. Do you not remember all of the layoffs? While the corporate staff bitches about how large their new offices will be.

    Is it an invasion of privacy to show the depravity, racism and bigotry inherit with the studio execs at SPE? No. The former owner of the Clippers was crucified for a private conversation going public.

    Lyton and Pascal reap what they have sown. I have no pity for them and looking forward to the headline when they leave SPE to “pursue other projects.” I hope it is a lesson for corporate America, treat your employees badly and this is what can happen.

  4. Julia Chasman says:

    The Daily Beast shouldn’t have published this — but Variety should really know better. This is business as usual: a studio is upset because a star pulls out at the last minute; a silly interview with priveleged Hollywood kids is emailed around because it’s amusing; and an agent is cuddling up to a studio head on behalf of her star client. No news here — just embarrassment and more invasion of privacy. Enough already!

  5. Coco says:

    Do you think that if other major studios email were hacked, they would have different conversations? The whole industry is pretty much screwed up!

  6. Blitzy Cain says:

    “The Interview” was funny but would have been funnier if there was not so much vulgarity – very distracting! Best Actor should go to the spaniel puppy! Probably be a major jump in sales of this adorable lap dog breed 😍

  7. alan brandlon says:

    Did the writer of this post learn to write in 1st grade and did they pa 2nd grade? It is a most incongruent piece of garbage.

  8. DanZee says:

    So what made Leonardo “despicable?” These e-mail excerpts don’t seem very damning. Jaydon and Willow scare me too!

  9. empresstrudy says:

    You mean a guy with an intergalactic sized sense of self importance is…..self important? Who knew?

  10. jezzerat says:

    I don’t think it’s actually news to anyone that Leonardo Dicaprio is despicable and the Smith children are flaky idiots.

  11. Talbot says:

    When will people learn?: “Never write what you can speak, never speak what you can whisper, never whisper what you can nod, and never nod what you can wink.”

  12. Jim Kennedy says:

    What I find despicable is how thrilled the media has been over publishing all of this company’s private information. I do so hope every single one of them gets hacked and we get to read what people in the business have to say about them!

    • John R says:

      Post your IP and MAC and I’ll see what I can do…. let’s check your emails first.

    • I agree 200%. And what’s worse is that I’m sure that 99% of the nastiest commentators on the subject would look 10 times worse if their own e-mail was hacked. And before some clever bugger comes up with the inevitable “then why do you read it?” question, I’ll pre-empt with an answer: I’m more interested in reading the comments to see how much human decency is left in the world, and if the comments I’ve read so far are any indication, then the answer is: Not a helluva lot.

  13. There is a difference between calling behavior despicable and a person despicable. You guys know that right?

  14. belleburr says:

    Reblogged this on The Adventures of Fort Gaskin-Burr and commented:
    ….well yeah.

  15. Seriously variety says:



    • Steve Boyd says:

      Wow, you seem pretty sure of yourself with all those annoying CAPS. There is ANOTHER Steve Jobs movie in the pipeline written by Aaron Sorkin and THAT one will (currently) star Fassbender.

  16. Seriously variety says:

    Its ok guys fassbender and kutcher look and act similar…. And even are of similar talent and height ;)

  17. Billy Bob says:

    For highly paid, supposedly intelligent executives, why do they type words like teenagers on their cell phones?

    • C++ says:

      Entertainment executives are basically a bunch of bitchy teenagers stuck in high school clique mode. It pervades everything the industry does, from DRM to studio politics.

  18. What's wrong with that? says:

    I haven’t found anything wrong with these emails. If she wants to say ‘despicable’ then she entitled to her opinion. She could have said a lot worse! I don’t see any problems with any of her emails as of yet.


    I’ll tell you who loves Leonardo; PARAMOUNT. He’s been a hit machine for them with all of his films either garnering huge blockbuster status or major award nominations or both.

  20. SilverDoe says:

    So basically they’re calling him despicable just because he turned down a role they wanted him to play? That says nothing about his character. They’re just being immature.

  21. sunflowerpower says:

    Dear Variety: please require all commentators to present actual industry credentials before allowing them to post comments.

    I won’t go into detail as to why. You already know why. A lot of these people need to be over on Entertainment Weekly, and you and we know it.


    • Janice says:

      Would you mind telling the rest of us that don’t have the same credentials as you? If this website is open to the public, then the public should be able to post. If it is supposed to be more or less a club-like subscription online magazine, then it shouldn’t be viewed by the public and only by members of its club. Is that what you’re wanting? Because the hybrid compromise you seem to be proposing doesn’t make sense.

  22. anne2886 says:

    All this “gossip” is so immature and childish. I’m sure if we knew the truth about a lot of different publishes, studios, their employees, etc. etc. we would find out that this type of gossip is rampant. The press needs to back off and quit feeding into all this drama

    • sunflowerpower says:

      You do work here in Hollywood, don’t you? WE DO know the truth!

      You have GOT to be audience to have even made that statement, lady. We all know how it goes here, and Sony’s gossip emails are Absolut Tame compared to most of the houses out here.

  23. didthis work says:

    well, kik a brain cell in… what ‘entity’ would you expect to have the ability to ‘hack’ to this extent? hint hint.. big data center in Utah…which gov seeks to control by instilling ‘fear’? hint hint.. big data center in Utah … naaa.. they wouldn’t do that would they?

  24. Burt Reynolds says:

    Oh no, he didn’t want to do your stupid steve jobs movie that no one wants to see. THE HORROR!

  25. daedilus says:

    He’s been called despicable a lot more places than just as Sony.

    • sunflowerpower says:

      Amen to that. Amy guarding her tongue as usual. Poor kid’s going to be sailed out of here by Jan 1 and yet everything she said was f–king true as f–k :-(

  26. Ben Cooper Stevens says:

    What goes on behind the scenes should be kept that way. If the public ever got wind of some of this garbage, it could ruffle a lot of important feathers, and cause unnecessary law suits, resulting in damage to the artists reputation, and the other studio chiefs. Things that are taken out of context….like in-house memos, could hurt, unnecessarily, the actors and their fans. The saddest part about all this, is that the actors become pawns for the profitability of the studios and their chiefs, (unless you are a mega star calling your own shots), because of greedy business chiefs, who really just care about the bottom line, which is always profit and money. By leaking the wrong information to the press and public, they are doing themselves a great dis-service. And many times, that wrong information is leaked intentionally.

  27. JoeThePimpernel says:

    I’m pretty sure they are correct.

  28. raunda says:

    Its a shame that Leo passed on the job; however, after watching Shame it appears that Fassy’s really got the right stuff for the job of being Jobs.

    • Movie Expert says:

      Dicaprio already played a difficult genius in The Aviator

      he wanted to do something different so he went with Revenant instead

  29. htales says:

    DiCaprio… wait a minute, he’s the one in Django which according to Pascal is the movie Obama would like, right?

  30. Ted Haimed says:

    Variety… You should be ashamed. You are aiding and abetting cyber terrorism by publishing this material…

    Doesn’t anybody get this?

  31. David says:

    ‘Can Aaron deliver TITANIC 2 where I swim to shore and spend 8 long screen hours founding an oil company very, very slowly and in a bloody way before a shoot out with my only son that no one saw coming? I thought that’s what we’d agreed to. To do a proper Leo movie. I don’t have an Oscar yet.’

  32. Tim says:

    Di caprio is despicable, not news

  33. He is another liberal 1% hypocrite.. Just like many in Sony and Hollywood so ???

    • Lalita says:

      How is he a “hypocrite?”

      • Mama Mia says:

        Charles Scruffy, every time someone-“anyone” -is insulted online, someone calls them a liberal. Comments like these are not endearing people to your party. Come up with a new agenda, other than constant name-calling. Talk about childish & just plain stupid! Get a new gig.,

  34. movie_guy says:

    who gives a shit? : ) shut up Variety. I don’t work at Sony.. but that doesn’t stop me from not giving a shit about these private emails you are “reporting” on. Find some real news.

  35. It’s such great fun to see these useful idiots outed as the fools we all know they are. What out of control narcissists they are. They deserve each other and exactly what they get. This is one time I can truly say I am lmao!

  36. San Diego Steve says:

    The message from this? Email is not private! Anything you put in an email can end up on Drudge or in a trial or court hearing somewhere. Lawyers know this and advise their clients accordingly. These Hollywood people are either very stupid or very arrogant. I suspect that they are both.

  37. marine43 says:

    Is ANYONE surprised to see exactly how racist, and backbiting Hollywood is? Not me , just confirms what I knew, after all they ARE all liberals….

  38. Endoxa52 says:

    Hollywood pumps more garbage into the environment than China and their executives are twice as devious.They are a horrible lot.

  39. cowardobama says:

    I wouldn’t expect to learn of ANYTHING LESS of Leo BEING The Elitist LOW-INFO HYPOCRITE Obama-BLOWING Liberal he has turned out TO BE.
    ..Dropped him LIKE A STONE years ago like the other Koolaid Mixers Clooney, Hanks, & Damon.
    Hollywood is OVERFLOWING with POS Liberal Democrats who are too busy to connect what LITTLE the KNOW about OUR Constitution, It’s PURPOSE and TRUE REPRESENTATIVE Government.
    …Coward Liberals EVERYWHERE in PHONY Hollywood!!

  40. Jon Bodnar says:

    Businesses have no business in making things personal. If you don’t want to work with someone then don’t hire them. If you don’t like them after you hire them that’s your issue if they are doing their work. Otherwise those in power need to keep their mouths shut and their fingers off the keys.

  41. jiminhouston says:

    For once I agree about DiCaprio.

  42. Leaks about the Christmas surprise say “It will include political donor info, fund raising info, “gratuitous” use of the ‘N’ word in high level emails as well as other financial disclosures regarding salaries and a
    list of “SEXUAL PREDATORS” that work for Sony.. including several actors and actresses.”, Sounds interesting..

  43. Ralph Gizzip says:

    Scratch a Hollywood liberal and find a bigot.

    Amy Pascal’s all apologetic saying she didn’t mean what she wrote yada, yada, yada. Well, I call mierde del toro on that. It’s when you think nobody will find out that you reveal your innermost thoughts.

  44. republicat says:

    I thought Hollywood thrived on sniping and scandal. Where’s Rona Barrett when you need her?

  45. Ahhhh! I just read Aaron Sorkin’s lamentation about how the American media has betrayed hollywood by publishing all the dirty laundry. This from a crow that advocates opennes and tolerance, shine the light on government, “viva Ed Snowden”….
    Not so tough without you secrets, are ya??

  46. sabo says:

    Dirty laundry from Hollywood.
    Say it ain’t so, Joe.
    The main purveyors of (some )garbage we see,
    Have always set themselves apart as being the standard bearers of being open minded and non-judgmental.
    These latest revelations only cast a white hot light on they’re hypocricy.

  47. Dennis Dee says:

    How long before Al Sharpton owns 25% of Sony? I am surprised he is not on a plane already

  48. hmichaelh says:

    Revenge, in the world of the arts, especially in Hollywood, seems to be a driving force. What petty, small minded, infantile people exist in that world.

    • sunflowerpower says:

      And you love every single second of it and what we create. Deal.

      Or go get your niece to do a shadow puppet show for you this coming Christmas and forever afterward. That’s right. Imagine a future with no film, no music, no television.

      Yeah, asshole, we thought so. Now go back to your 9 to 5 and get in line this Friday

      • James says:

        And you sir are not God nor is your industry. Take your self inflated egos and stick em. I do quite well with my own music and art and it doesn’t come with inflated egotistical god complexes attached. attitudes like that just make people want to pirate more and make you folks suffer for your art a little more. I think you need to come out of your glass castle and smell the shit you are shoveling.

  49. I just wish the hacks got into Jeffery’s and DreamWorks.

    • John R says:

      There actually is a reference about Spielberg and he’s a megalomanic. He actually believes his own bullshit.

      From Stanley Kramer Company

      Dear Amy and Michael,

      Marvin Levy called Karen last week. Steven likes Dr. Seuss but he
      did not want to remake one of Stanley’s classic old films, he said that
      “Stanley was a titan and I’m a titan and us titans should not remake
      each other’s old films.” However with today’s news that Steven is
      now interested in West Side Story, you should call Marvin and ask him
      if Steven is willing to be the Executive Producer on this Dr. Seuss update.

    • sunflowerpower says:


  50. Diane M says:

    He IS despicable. But that’s just typical of Hollyweird. I don’t approve of hacking, but at least this time it’s a worthy target.

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