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Sony wants 'Social Network' scribe to pen Steve Jobs movie

post #1 of 84
Thread Starter 
Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter who won an Academy Award for his work on the film The Social Network, is reportedly being pursued to script a movie on the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.

Citing an anonymous person who was briefed on the film in the works at Sony, the Los Angeles Times said that Sorkin is the top choice for the studio. Sorkin is said to be "considering the prospect," but has not committed to the picture, while a representative declined to comment.

Sorkin already tackled Silicon Valley in The Social Network, which was an adapted screenplay based on the story of Mark Zuckerberg and his founding of Facebook. For his work on Network, Sorkin won the Academy Award for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay).

Other films by Sorkin include Charlie Wilson's War, The American President, and the recently released Moneyball starring Brad Pitt, while his work in TV includes The West Wing and Sports Night.

The report noted that Sorkin knew Jobs personally, as Jobs unsuccessfully attempted to convince him to write a Pixar film. But the fact that Jobs only passed earlier this month was said to potentially "create a challenge for any writer."



Only a few days after Jobs had passed, news broke that Sony Pictures was working to acquire the rights to Walter Isaacson's new authorized biography of Jobs, released on Monday. Entitled "Steve Jobs," the book offers a detailed look at the man who helped create the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.

Isaacson's book is already a hit, as online retailer Amazon said Monday that the title is on pace to become its best selling book of 2011, even after just one day of availability. The book is available in hardcover, as well as digitally on Apple's iBooks for iOS devices, and Amazon Kindle.
post #2 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Aaron Sorkin, the screenwriter who won an Academy Award for his work on the film The Social Network, is reportedly being pursued to script a movie on the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. ....

This is way too fast. The only way this movie is going to be any good at all is if they wait ten years before they make it.

Anything else will be a TV movie of the week kind of thing with about as much depth as the story of Octomom, or a "making of" movie of a Britney Spears concert. In all fairness, "the Social Network" was exactly this kind of movie itself.

Prepare to be disappointed.
post #3 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too fast.

That's what my girlfriend said. I convinced her otherwise
post #4 of 84
I'm not sure how much simultaneously walking and talking Steve did at Apple.
post #5 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by success View Post

That's what my girlfriend said. I convinced her otherwise

She just said that so you'd be done quicker and she could get back to her girlfriend.
post #6 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by jungmark View Post

I'm not sure how much simultaneously walking and talking Steve did at Apple.

Are you kidding? Fast paced walking and 'talking' would seem perfect for Steve. Anyway, truth in that kind of sense is irrelevant.

I can't see a film about Steve Jobs documenting his life, nor the rise of Apple. Those are documentaries. I can see the story being the Apple as a start up and ending either at his firing from Apple, or at his return to Apple. Ending on his return keynote would make sense. Everything after that is dramatically boring, or else the drama is ongoing. e.g. Apple v Google
post #7 of 84
I'm torn about the idea of Aaron Sorkin writing a Steve Jobs bio screenplay. I liked The Social Network. And I like Sorkin's dialog. Like Tarantino, Sorkin could write a scene where people sit around and talk for 10 minutes genuinely absorbing and interesting. And granted, a movie about Steve Jobs is going to be mostly people standing around and talking for 2 hours. But thats the problem: in order to make it good art (movie), it has to take certain artistic license with the source material. The result could be highly distorted fiction, as it was with The Social Network. Mark Z is around to stand up for his own legacy, but Steve cannot. I certainly want it to be a good movie (as does Sony), but still, how faithful can a screenplay be and still be interesting?

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #8 of 84
I have read multiple accounts in his passing thats Jobs favorite thing was to take long walks and walking and talking and looking at the trees was his preferred way of discussing big ideas one on one. Even when he was on vacation in Hawaii, thats how he worked. With that in mind, think of his plans for the new Apple HQ and all the trees he wanted.
post #9 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmarcoot View Post

I have read multiple accounts in his passing thats Jobs favorite thing was to take long walks and walking and talking and looking at the trees was his preferred way of discussing big ideas one on one. Even when he was on vacation in Hawaii, thats how he worked. With that in mind, think of his plans for the new Apple HQ and all the trees he wanted.

True, but Sorkin's specialty is people walking and talking *quickly*. I would imagine that Jobs tended to take slow, leisurely strolls while talking in big, sweeping metaphysical arcs. Not exactly the same as Leo McGarry and Josh Lyman run-walking down a corridor while frantically chattering
post #10 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too fast. The only way this movie is going to be any good at all is if they wait ten years before they make it.

Anything else will be a TV movie of the week kind of thing with about as much depth as the story of Octomom, or a "making of" movie of a Britney Spears concert. In all fairness, "the Social Network" was exactly this kind of movie itself.

Prepare to be disappointed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'm torn about the idea of Aaron Sorkin writing a Steve Jobs bio screenplay. I liked The Social Network. And I like Sorkin's dialog. Like Tarantino, Sorkin could write a scene where people sit around and talk for 10 minutes genuinely absorbing and interesting. And granted, a movie about Steve Jobs is going to be mostly people standing around and talking for 2 hours. But thats the problem: in order to make it good art (movie), it has to take certain artistic license with the source material. The result could be highly distorted fiction, as it was with The Social Network. Mark Z is around to stand up for his own legacy, but Steve cannot. I certainly want it to be a good movie (as does Sony), but still, how faithful can a screenplay be and still be interesting?

Agreed on above counts. Sony simply wants to capitalize on the Apple/Jobs phenomenon, and in doing so will crank out another glib, fast talking variation of docu-drama.

I'd much prefer a Ken Burns documentary of Apple, Jobs, and Silicon Valley to a flashy pseudo bio pic meant to fill Sony's coffers.
post #11 of 84
What has Sorkin does that hasn't been great?

The "problems" with the Jobs story (from a story perspective) is that it's an epic that finishes up with 10 years of nearly uninterrupted success. If you don't pick the right time frame, it ends up being like a sports movie where the protagonists win 5 championships in a row (yawn). I expect that, instead, they'd want to end the narrative right after the iPod was announced. Then some text to remind the braindead that from that point until Steve's death Apple grew to become arguably the most succesful corporation in the world. The interesting stuff is the arc from getting booted from Apple until then.

But what do I know. Sorkin turned the concept of "let's use math to change baseball" into an excellent movie (based on an excellent book), so presumably he could do the same for this (reportedly) good/excellent biography of an incredible individual. I don't think he'll be asking me for my suggestions :-)
post #12 of 84
Agree on the speed issue. And the expectations game would be hard. Social network was good, don't get me wrong, but my expectations about the movie were low when I entered the theatre. With Apple, my expectations will match Apple products, the move will have to hit it out of the park to be any good.
post #13 of 84
When will we see this on broadway
post #14 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

I'm torn about the idea of Aaron Sorkin writing a Steve Jobs bio screenplay. I liked The Social Network. And I like Sorkin's dialog. Like Tarantino, Sorkin could write a scene where people sit around and talk for 10 minutes genuinely absorbing and interesting. And granted, a movie about Steve Jobs is going to be mostly people standing around and talking for 2 hours. But thats the problem: in order to make it good art (movie), it has to take certain artistic license with the source material. The result could be highly distorted fiction, as it was with The Social Network. Mark Z is around to stand up for his own legacy, but Steve cannot. I certainly want it to be a good movie (as does Sony), but still, how faithful can a screenplay be and still be interesting?

Faithful is a relative term. Being factual about Steve Jobs' life would not necessarily be truthful in the larger picture. Being faithful in factual chronological way would probably be the most boring movie ever made. You have to look at the man's life and his achievements and be able to condense it into a two hour story that a) describes the man and what he was about, b) tells a riveting story and c) contextualizes a and b into a greater statement about the essence of the man. The textbook example would be Citizen Kane. The problem is that it is hard to have a perspective on Steve Jobs at this point. That is why I think to focus on the early Apple makes more sense.
But if Sorkin is writing the story I am sure he will figure it out for himself . He is one of the best as is evident by the fact that SJ tried to get him to write a Pixar movie. Hmmm.... maybe the Story of Steve should be a Pixar production? Now there's a thought.
post #15 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

What has Sorkin does that hasn't been great?

The "problems" with the Jobs story (from a story perspective) is that it's an epic that finishes up with 10 years of nearly uninterrupted success. If you don't pick the right time frame, it ends up being like a sports movie where the protagonists win 5 championships in a row (yawn). I expect that, instead, they'd want to end the narrative right after the iPod was announced. Then some text to remind the braindead that from that point until Steve's death Apple grew to become arguably the most succesful corporation in the world. The interesting stuff is the arc from getting booted from Apple until then.

But what do I know. Sorkin turned the concept of "let's use math to change baseball" into an excellent movie (based on an excellent book), so presumably he could do the same for this (reportedly) good/excellent biography of an incredible individual. I don't think he'll be asking me for my suggestions :-)

I agree about Sorkin. I could see the movie focussing on one product only, such as the Bondi iMac, or as you suggest, the iPod.
post #16 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too fast. The only way this movie is going to be any good at all is if they wait ten years before they make it.

Anything else will be a TV movie of the week kind of thing with about as much depth as the story of Octomom, or a "making of" movie of a Britney Spears concert. In all fairness, "the Social Network" was exactly this kind of movie itself.

Prepare to be disappointed.

Why would waiting 10 years make it a better movie? It's not as if they would work on a script for 10 years.

What you say is true in cases where the subject retires from a position, because the story may be incomplete.

In this instance, the only thing that might change by waiting is that how Apple might turn out without Jobs. But that would change the story into more about Apple. Everything needed to make a story about Jobs the man is available now. Waiting 1, 2 or 10 years would not change the quality of a movie. It would only change the optics of those watching it.

The Social Network, IMO, was not as great as some made it out to be. But it was no TV movie of the week.
post #17 of 84
I approve of Aaron Sorkin's scripting Steve's life, 100%.

But I agree with others, that it's a bit soon. Needs at least 3-4 years to go by first.
post #18 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by vetinari View Post

When will we see this on broadway

If you can think of it, Disney's planning it.
post #19 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by HCrefugee View Post


I'd much prefer a Ken Burns documentary of Apple, Jobs, and Silicon Valley to a flashy pseudo bio pic meant to fill Sony's coffers.

I think Errol Morris (Fog of War, The Thin Blue Line) would be much more captivating.
post #20 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

What has Sorkin does that hasn't been great?

How about Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War ...?

Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post

But what do I know. Sorkin turned the concept of "let's use math to change baseball" into an excellent movie (based on an excellent book), so presumably he could do the same for this (reportedly) good/excellent biography of an incredible individual. I don't think he'll be asking me for my suggestions :-)

The script for Moneyball is itself a subject worthy of a movie. It was originally written by Steve Zaillian (a brilliant script writer in his own right). Depending on which account you read, the final version was still very much his work with minor modifications by Sorkin. Regardless, I would not be so sure as to add Moneyball to the list of Sorkin creations.
post #21 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

In all fairness, "the Social Network" was exactly this kind of movie itself.

Prepare to be disappointed.

If it is as good as The Social Network, few will be disappointed.

Just saying.
post #22 of 84
Sorkin.
yes
Yes
YES!
post #23 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Why would waiting 10 years make it a better movie? It's not as if they would work on a script for 10 years. ...

Critical perspective and a historical viewpoint. The significance of events is most often not apparent right after they happen.

There is literally nothing they could do here except tell a rather boring story of this happened, and then that happened, and then something else ... etc. etc. In other words it will be sort of like the "Pirates of the Silicon Valley" movie (or "The Social Network" for that matter).

As much as I liked watching both of those movies, they are neither good drama, good storytelling, nor good history. They are both sort of dull "illustrated books," or in the case of "Pirates" a movie version of the documentary which is also much better all around.
post #24 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

This is way too fast. The only way this movie is going to be any good at all is if they wait ten years before they make it.

Anything else will be a TV movie of the week kind of thing with about as much depth as the story of Octomom, or a "making of" movie of a Britney Spears concert. In all fairness, "the Social Network" was exactly this kind of movie itself.

Prepare to be disappointed.

The meteoric sales of the book make the movie inevitable.
So at least it should have the best screenwriter around on the job.
The trick is for him to decide what the 'story' is. A straight bio-pic is indeed made-for-TV fare.
Sorkin can make it about something bigger... a statement about American culture, or perhaps about redemption.
Besides, the dialog alone would be worth it. No one does better dialog than Sorkin.
post #25 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

If it is as good as The Social Network, few will be disappointed.

Just saying.

Nah, you are mistaking "popular" for "good."

"The Social Network" is an excellent example in that it's a fairly dull re-telling of rather dull events portrayed by forgettable actors who are hired more for their resemblance to the original players than their acting skill. In ten years, no one will care at all about this movie at all, but on release it was even tipped for an oscar! The popularity of the subject matter and it's topicality masked the fact that it isn't really a good movie at all and has basically nothing to say.

This is why I say "wait ten years." How do we even know what we really think about Steve Jobs and what he accomplished when he only died a couple of weeks ago? What will his real impact be? Will everyone be still using Apple stuff ten years from now? Anything can happen.

Four years ago almost no one knew what an iPhone was and most of the people who will go see this movie had never heard of Steve Jobs.
post #26 of 84
The problem with Sorkin is not the quality of his writing, it's that he wants to have so much impact on the dramatic arc of the film that his writing has nothing to do with historical accuracy. And Hollywood seems not to care at all about producing screen bios that are historically accurate. It's almost never been done. And they frequently leave out important characters. "Ray" left out Neshui Ertegun (Ahmet's brother and co-founder of the company). "Cadillac Records" left out Phil Chess (except in one scene where his name isn't mentioned) and Bo Diddley. Is this movie (assuming it covers the early days) going to leave out Woz?

I agree with those who'd rather see a newly constructed comprehensive documentary. If not, I'd much rather see this as a TV mini-series than as a 2-hour movie. You can't really cover anything in a 2-hour movie. It worked for The Social Network because it was a much smaller timeframe and was primarily about three people (+ the twins). Steve's story is a much bigger story and involves many more people, unless it's only going to be about the formation of Apple up until the time Steve left or a story about Steve's return and his first few post-return successes.

And who plays Steve who would be credible as Steve? Who plays Woz?
post #27 of 84
Maybe Charlie Sheen will be available play Jobs

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post #28 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Critical perspective and a historical viewpoint. The significance of events is most often not apparent right after they happen.

I sort of agree and sort of disagree.

As mentioned, I agree in that perspective will change over time. But the change may not necessarily for the better. It would simply change the story. Wait long enough and, perhaps, Apple becomes a larger financial success but a different company. That could not be ignored. Do it now, and the story could be just about Jobs.
post #29 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

Maybe Charlie Sheen will be available play Jobs

Well, both believed themselves to be invincible. Jobs was proven wrong on that count.
post #30 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

How about Studio 7 on the Sunset Strip, Charlie Wilson's War ...?

I loved Studio 7.
post #31 of 84
Please let Noah Wyle play Steve.
post #32 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Critical perspective and a historical viewpoint. The significance of events is most often not apparent right after they happen.

There is literally nothing they could do here except tell a rather boring story of this happened, and then that happened, and then something else ... etc. etc. In other words it will be sort of like the "Pirates of the Silicon Valley" movie (or "The Social Network" for that matter).

As much as I liked watching both of those movies, they are neither good drama, good storytelling, nor good history. They are both sort of dull "illustrated books," or in the case of "Pirates" a movie version of the documentary which is also much better all around.

Jobs creates Apple in his Garage - against all odds (no money)
Apple (and Jobs) is highly successful but Jobs is obnoxious and is ousted
Jobs Creates Next and fails
Jobs meets Laureen
Buys defunct Pixar unit and turns it around
Gets bought by Apple (who knows what went on behind the scenes)
Jobs introduces Bondi (there must have been a few battles fought to get that one out)
The rest is history and we all know it.

I am not saying this is the only story here but there is enough perspective. The significance of these events can be put in historical context by now.
post #33 of 84
I am surprised Steve did not stipulate in his contract with Isaacson that he could not sell the movie rights to the biography. It is kind of sickening how many jerks have lined up to capitalize off Job's death.
post #34 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Nah, you are mistaking "popular" for "good."

"The Social Network" is an excellent example in that it's a fairly dull re-telling of rather dull events portrayed by forgettable actors who are hired more for their resemblance to the original players than their acting skill. In ten years, no one will care at all about this movie at all, but on release it was even tipped for an oscar! The popularity of the subject matter and it's topicality masked the fact that it isn't really a good movie at all and has basically nothing to say.

This is why I say "wait ten years." How do we even know what we really think about Steve Jobs and what he accomplished when he only died a couple of weeks ago? What will his real impact be? Will everyone be still using Apple stuff ten years from now? Anything can happen.

Four years ago almost no one knew what an iPhone was and most of the people who will go see this movie had never heard of Steve Jobs.

The Social Network was both a poular success and a critcal one. You might not have liked it but the critics and the general population disagree with your judgement
post #35 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

I am not saying this is the only story here but there is enough perspective. The significance of these events can be put in historical context by now.

Nah. The greatest thing he ever did, according to the man himself, was to create the iPad. We don't have any perspective on that.
post #36 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnnyb0731 View Post

The Social Network was both a poular success and a critcal one. You might not have liked it but the critics and the general population disagree with your judgement

My point is that they won't a few years from now.
post #37 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal 9000 View Post

Please let Noah Wyle play Steve.

He was good in the Pirates movie. But this time around, it would have to be an actor willing to lose 50 lbs to play Jobs in the last 18 months of his life - strutting around on stage with stick-thin legs. Christian Bale has done this and could do it again, if we are not tired of him already.
post #38 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by ConradJoe View Post

Nah. The greatest thing he ever did, according to the man himself, was to create the iPad. We don't have any perspective on that.

Jobs wanted Isaacson to write the book because he wanted to dictate his own story. In that light, all the perspective you need is the book. True, Jobs never proofread it. But he shared as much as he could, he would.
post #39 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

My point is that they won't a few years from now.

We don't know that.
post #40 of 84
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hal 9000 View Post

Please let Noah Wyle play Steve.

A good choice. I liked him in Pirates of Silicon Valley, but Noah's not big enough for Sony. If Sony ponies up big dollars for this movie (and they will), it'll be a "bigger" star. And that's plain phony.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
Reply

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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