Ashton Kutcher to Play Apple’s Steve Jobs in ‘Jobs’ Biopic

Published 3 years ago by , Updated July 24th, 2013 at 9:34 am,

When you think of an actor to play one of the most important world-altering technological innovators of the last century, naturally the face of Ashton Kutcher comes to mind, right? Well, if your response to that question is a resounding “No!” then you are likely to be (shocked?) (appalled?) at the news that the Two and a Half Men star is attached to play Apple founder Steve Jobs in the biopic, Jobs.

[SIDE NOTE: For those with good memories, Jobs is actually the second Steve Jobs biopic currently in development; Sony recently snagged the rights to Walter Isaacson’s book Steve Jobs, and the studio was last seen courting Oscar-winning Social Network and Moneyball screenwriter Aaron Sorkin to write the script.]

Variety reports that Jobs is being directed by Joshua Michael Stern, the man who helmed the Kevin Costner vehicle Swing Vote in 2008 – the script is being written by Matt Whiteley.

Of course, the biggest thing that’s going to come of this news is the outcry amongst fans of the late Steve Jobs, who will likely protest that Kutcher is in no way, shape, or form qualified to portray the technical genius. Then again, early details of Jobs point to the film exploring how its titular figure went from being a counter-culture youth (read: hippie) to the head of one of the most innovative and respected technological brands in the world. From that angle, it’s easy to see why Kutcher was an attractive prospect (no pun) – nevermind the surprising physical resemblance between the two (see header image)…

Still, the thought that of Kutcher bringing even a millisecond of his Michael Kelso schtick from That ’70s Show to the life story of Steve Jobs is enough to make one shudder. Movies like The Guardian, Bobby and The Butterfly Effect have proven that Kutcher does in fact have the range for drama; but those examples are far outweighed by his pattern of taking on questionable comedic roles (Killers, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, What Happened in Vegas, Just Married, Dude, Where’s My Car? – need I go on?).

Right now, if you were to hold up two films about Steve Jobs and say, “This one stars Ashton Kutcher, the other was written by Aaron Sorkin,” I know which movie I’d hand over my ticket money for. How about you?

In the meantime, we’ll keep you updated on the progress of both Jobs and that Steve Jobs biopic over at Sony.

Source: Variety

TAGS: Jobs
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  1. Kutcher can act. And yeah of course I’d be inclined to see the Sorkin film instead but this hasn’t even gone into production. Bit early to be nailing the coffin shut, no?

    • “Right now, if you were to hold up two films about Steve Jobs and say, “This one stars Ashton Kutcher, the other was written by Aaron Sorkin,” I know which movie I’d hand over my ticket money for. How about you?”

      That’s hardly nailing the coffin shut. It’s talking about my initial impression only; the rest of the article describes the likely reaction by Steve Jobs fans, what the movie will cover, and why Kutcher was likely selected for the part.

      • The reason Kutcher was chosen for this is obvious. He is the spitting image of Jobs as a young man. I think both projects could be good, different but still good.

  2. I’ve said it before, and will say it again- Ashton Kutcher is actually quite a good actor, well above average. I’m glad to see this writer acknowledged his dramatic range as displayed in the Guardian. I was very impressed by his acting in that role.

    What I find ridiculous is mentioning his comedic roles. He’s an actor- he is SUPPOSED to have range. Is Robert de Niro any less of an actor because he has done comedy?

    Another interesting point is that comedians for some strange reason I haven’t yet figured out, tend to be fantastic dramatic actors. Think of Jim Carrey in Man on The Moon, John Candy in JFK, or Eddie Murphy in Dream Girls. When comedians decide to get serious they tend to deliver fantastic dramatic performances. Maybe something about the gift of comedy is the flip side of the gift of drama.

    For this reason, I think people will be pleasantly surprised by how well Kutcher will do.

    • Don’t forget Robin Williams…excellent dramatic actor.

      • Good point. That’s another good example. I really do believe that somehow the gifts that make you a good comedian also make you a good dramatic actor. I’m not sure how, but there are too many examples for it to be a coincidence.

    • “Another interesting point is that comedians for some strange reason I haven’t yet figured out, tend to be fantastic dramatic actors.”

      I know it from experience with other actors that comedy is actually quite harder to pull off than drama. So for the writer of the article to belittle an actor’s skills because he does a lot of comedy is actually quite wrong.

  3. Not a fan of this casting. Insulting to Steve Jobs.

    • Why is it insulting?

      • If you have to ask…

        • Oh good…a useless copout.

          Yes, I DO have to ask. Kofi doesn’t seem too hopeful about Kutcher’s ability to portray Jobs, but even he fairly pointed out that Kutcher CAN call upon the appropriate acting chops…whether he CHOOSES to is another issue. You may not like him as a choice, but your opinion doesn’t make him the WRONG choice. Personally, I’m curious if he can.

          Jobs was no angel; in fact, everything I’ve read or seen about the man indicates he was not a particularly pleasant person. The actor who plays him does NOT (by ANY stretch of the imagination) have to crap sterling silver bricks or wear a golden halo.

          So, I ask again: WHY is it so insulting for Kutcher to be considered?

  4. He looks just like him, is a decent actor, and with the right scrip and crew this would be great.

  5. The movie should be renamed to Dude, Where’s My iPad?

  6. april’s fools?

  7. You know what, I’m probably gonna get a lot of flack for this, what what the hell (I’m entitled to my opinion right? ;))
    I think this isn’t too bad. Kutcher looks a lot like Jobs, and IMO Kutcher can act – he hasn’t done much dramatic acting, but I believe (given the chance), he could surprise people.
    I’m interesting in seeing where this movie might go…

  8. Holy Cow! At 1st glance I thought the header pictures were both of Kutcher.
    But like Kofi implies in a earlier comment if given the choice between the 2 films being developed I’d go with the one being written by Sorkin.
    Not to deminish Jobs or everything he did in life but I see this more as a HBO mini-series.
    It could be done in 2 or 3 parts and you could use different actors to play Jobs. I cringe at the thought of Kutcher playing Jobs when he’s older, caked in makeup and a shaved head or a bald cap.

  9. I’m surprised to find that I’m not really bothered by this casting choice. I’m no fan of Kutcher’s, but yes, he definitely looks the part. On top of that, I think given the public persona Steve Jobs had, Kutcher actually fits very well. Kind of curious to see how he might do.

  10. Really? TWO Steve Jobs movies? WHY?

    Of course, I’m not a fan of biopics anyway…so ONE is more than enough anyway, in my opinion.

    • Do you think money has anything to do with it? :-)

      • What?!
        Trying to exploit a man’s life TWO times just to make more money?!
        Nah, Hollywood would never do that 😉

  11. I never thought I’d have to say it, but I hope they won’t put in a scene of Steve Jobs falling off the water tower.

  12. If predict this will end up getting a Screenrant rating of 2 stars.

  13. Kutcher does have certain similar physical qualities in common with Jobs. Not that he’s a perfect match but they could have done far worse. I don’t know however if he has that certain needed spark to play him believably.

    I still think that Noah Wyle was (and still is) the best match in all aspects.

    • Hell’s bells, yes! Bring Noah Wiley back to the part he played in 1999’s “Pirates of Silicon Valley.” He was so much like Steve Jobs, that Steve invited Wiley to imitate him at the next MacWorld conference. Wiley went unshaven, donned a black turtleneck and jeans, and when he walked on stage, everyone was fooled, including me.

      Then Steve walked onstage… What an uproar!

      Wiley is a pretty fair actor too, so Sorkin might want him.

  14. Another Sorkin script? Sign me up!

  15. I’ve not seen Kutcher act yet, so it’s hard to say if he can do it. So far his best movie was the Butterfly Effect and that was more to do with the story being cool than anything he did. They could have cast the iMac commercial guy in that part and it would have still came out fairly interesting as a light sci-fi movie.

    Really I don’t know how he even made it in Hollywood, was it ties to Demi? I dont remember, what did he do that merited so many roles? I did watch Punk’d a few times which is ok but he’s the coordinator so no acting there either.

    I guess if he gets this part, and does well I’d be willing to change my mind about him. Time will tell.

  16. As mentioned above, Pirates of Silicon Valley was already a pretty good biopic of both Jobs and Gates and their relationship together, and featured good acting by both Noah Wyle and Anthony Michael Hall.
    I’m looking forward to seeing the differences between these films and that one, and the different directions they’ll take with the two films.

    I wouldn’t dismiss Ashton Kutcher’s film just because he’s in it. That kind of prejudice doesn’t help anyone.

  17. Good choice. Will also be good to see Kutcher get rid of that awful hair style :-)

  18. Kind of find it ironic that Sony is making a movie a bout a guy who has pretty much made the consumer electronics division of their company extinct.

    • Apparently, Sony is now only 1/5 the size it was in its heyday. Sony Pictures is one of the few profitable parts of the Sony Corporation. I’m guessing they would be happy to have profits coming from any source.

  19. Didnt Pirates of Silicon Valley cover most of the important parts of his life?

    • PoSV ended just after Jobs returned to Apple (1999), and when the company was in deep doodoo, but of course misses the next 12 years, when he turned it around into the humongous success it is today.

      In other words, the whole of Act III is missing.