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Sony Developing Steve Jobs Biopic Based on Forthcoming Book

Posted by , on October 8, 2011 at 1:51 am 

Wednesday’s unfortunate passing of Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs is, to no one’s surprise, having repercussions. One of the many will be in the film industry — and not just with Pixar. As Deadline reports, Sony is picking up the rights to Steve Jobs, an upcoming (authorized) biography by Walter Isaacson that’s comprised of interviews with the subject, in addition to “over 100 conversations with friends, family members, colleagues and competitors.” Source Code and Saving Private Ryan producer Mark Gordon is behind the project.

With this being an “authorized biography,” there’s the risk of certain… undesirable particulars being excised for the sake of public image. Jobs himself claims that there are “no skeletons in his closet, though there were things he’d done he wasn’t proud of,” but the mention of him being “touchy about his personal life” does give pause. Somewhat contradictorily, the Amazon description of the book mentions there being “no control over what was written,” with Jobs putting “nothing off-limits”; the tech genius even “encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly.” It still feels like a legitimate concern, although the book’s impending release date of October 24th might soon give us some idea of what we can expect for the adaptation.

(It should be mentioned that this is coming from the studio that brought us The Social Network, yet the circumstances behind either production are so vastly different. Jobs may have been a Beatles fanatic, but a bitterly ironic use of “Baby You’re A Rich Man” probably won’t be in order.)

Upon reading this news, one thing I ask myself is how much this story will actually translate to compelling drama. We could get a Pirates of Silicon Valley-style showdown against Bill Gates, but if they do in fact gloss over the “big business” side of his life, the rest may not be all too interesting. We’ll have to wait and see. As for casting: Is Noah Wyle available? If not, someone needs to get David Straitharn on the line.

Would you want to see a Jobs biopic? Is there a concern on your part about the eventual portrayal?


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