Apparently, Fincher had been asking for $10 million in up-front fees, which was simply unacceptable to Sony. Fincher has certainly proven himself to be a director that can make hit movies, but Sony doesn't think that a Steve Jobs movie will be enough of a commercial hit to warrant too much up front. A source with ties to Sony even went so far as to say:
Of course, Fincher isn't 100% out. There is still a chance that he could re-enter negotiations, but he would have to seriously back off of his demands. No word yet on what this might mean as far as the rumor that Christian Bale was the front-runner to play Jobs. Bale was one of the top picks of Fincher, but negotiations with Bale hadn't formally begun yet.