Apple visionary Steve Jobs’ recent death quickly gave rise to speculation that Hollywood would soon take the opportunity to press ahead with a biographical film about the technological innovator’s life. Sure enough, word quickly got out that Sony had snatched up screen rights to Walter Isaacson’s best-selling non-fiction book about the man – a work simply titled Steve Jobs.
Comparisons have already been made between an adaptation of Isaacson’s literary biopic and Sony’s previous 21st century business-oriented works like The Social Network and Moneyball. So it’s no shock that the writer involved with both those acclaimed films – namely, Aaron Sorkin – is being courted to script the Jobs project.
Sorkin won an Academy Award for his Social Network screenplay and is well-renowned for turning “difficult” source material about eccentric and creative people into captivating cinema. However, as 24 Frames pointed out in its scoop, the Steve Jobs adaptation is something of a different beast – since Sorkin was not only personally familiar with Jobs, he would also be working on a story that remains fresh in the minds of the general population. That second element especially helps to distinguish this project from Moneyball: a film that has more of a limited audience appeal, because of its subject matter.
On the one hand: films that chronicle still cuturally-relevant events shortly after they actually occurred often seem to struggle at the box office – though, that is arguably due largely to the tendency for such films to select politically-controversial or sensitive issues as their focus (see: Fair Game, Green Zone, etc.).
On the other hand: The Social Network could be cited as a great example of how a film can tackle a topic of ongoing mainstream cultural relevance and make it work as a great piece of entertainment, on its own. Hence why Sorkin seems all the more fitting a choice to script the Steve Jobs biopic, from an artistic perspective.
Isaacson’s original Jobs literature was based on more than 40 interviews conducted with the book’s namesake, over the course of two years. The author also had material from over a hundred interviews with Jobs’ family, friends, colleagues and competitors alike to work with, in order to create the following portrait of its subject (according to the official description of Isaacson’s book):
Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.
So again, just from a descriptive angle, Jobs will likely be portrayed as the sort of complex-but-fascinating character that Sorkin has handled with ease before – be it in The Social Network or on his famed TV creation The West Wing. So if Sorkin does decide to accept the job of crafting Jobs’ biopic, that alone will be good reason to get excited about how the final product could turn out.
We will let you know when either Sorkin or another screenwriter officially signs on for the Steve Jobs biopic.
Source: LA Times