Open Road Films premieres its Ashton Kutcher-starring Steve Jobs biopic jOBS at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival this week, ahead of a general theatrical release scheduled to begin mid-April. Meanwhile, Fox has set the Sylvester Stallone-Robert De Niro comedy Grudge Match to open the same day that Fox has director Ridley Scott's The Counselor arriving (with a cast that includes Michael Fassbender and Brad Pitt, working from Pulitzer Prize-winner Cormac McCarthy's script).
jOBS has the unique distinction of a finished story, which separates the Steve Jobs biopic and ripped-from-the-headlines projects like the upcoming Lance Armstrong movie Cycle of Lies. Matt Whiteley's screenplay focuses on "major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2001," with director Joshua Michael Stern and production designer Freddy Waff (a leadman on The Social Network and Drive) shooting on location in the historic Palo Alto garage - where Jobs laid the groundwork for Apple Inc. - and recreating the business-savvy techno innovator's workplace with picture-perfect exactness.
The jOBS supporting cast features Dermot Mulroney (The Grey), Matthew Modine (The Dark Knight Rises), Lukas Haas (Inception), Josh Gad (Thanks for Sharing), J.K. Simmons (The Closer) and James Wood. It begins a wide theatrical release on April 19th, 2013 and faces competition during opening weekend from Tom Cruise's sci-fi thriller Oblivion; needless to say, there shouldn't be much overlap between the films.
Grudge Match and The Counselor are both hitting the scene this year on November 15th, which is the same date claimed by Bill Condon's WikiLeaks memoir The Fifth Estate. Peter Segal (Get Smart) is directing Stallone and De Niro - working from a script by Doug Ellin (creator of Entourage) - in the Grumpy Old Men-esque comedy about ex-boxing rivals who step back into the ring one more time. Indeed, Grudge Match is one of three Stallone vehicles arriving in 2013 (along with Bullet to the Head and The Tomb), prompting the question: "Can Old Dogs Sell New Tickets?"
As for The Counselor: Fox recognizes a definite awards contender when it sees one and, thus, Scott's crime-thriller is arriving in the heat of Oscar-bait season. Besides Fassbender and Pitt, the stellar cast includes Oscar-winning couple Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad), Natalie Dormer (Game of Thrones) and John Leguizamo. McCarthy's screenplay - about a lawyer who gets into the drug trafficking business - is described as 'No Country for Old Men on steroids' and landed Scott as director after being on the market for just 2-3 weeks. Suffice it to say, you ought to keep your eyes peeled for this one.
As mentioned before, jOBS opens in theaters on April 19th. Grudge Match and The Counselor follow on November 15th.