May 16, 2012
By now you may have heard that Aaron Sorkin has been tapped to write a movie on Steve Jobs' life based on the biography written by Walter Isaacson. I say good move.
I'm still working my way through Isaacson's "Steve Jobs," but so far it's a very detailed account of one of the most famous tech people ever. Combine this source material with Sorkin's work on "The Social Network" and "The West Wing," and that's a lot about which to get excited.
The thought of something as detailed as "The West Wing" is what really has me awaiting Sorkin's work. I joined the fan club of that show in its later years. But after going through the entire series, it was a freakin' masterpiece. I have seen numerous movies dealing with the inner-workings of Washington. "The American President" comes to mind as the cream of that crop. "My Fellow Americans" was a great comedic venture, featuring future "West Wing" star Bradley Whitford. But it's hard to do something so complex justice in a couple of hours. "The West Wing" took most of a two-term presidential administration and gave us seven seasons of excellent drama.
The life of Steve Jobs is probably just as complex. He founded a company in a garage in his early years, built the company up, got sacked from it -- fired from his own company! -- left to create more things, gets brought back to that same company while it's in a downward spiral. Then in the last decade of his too-short life, his company completely takes over one market -- digital music players -- and pretty much creates another -- tablet computers.
Mr. Sorkin, you have the material.
I know that there will probably be a little disappointment with the movie because of my experience with "The Hunger Games." It was a great movie, but the book was a story meant to be told over a long time. In the aspect of storytelling, putting the three books into a 10-episode mini-series would probably have worked better. But just as with many books adapted for the screen, the big money of cinema talks. No mini-series would've made a studio $300 million as the first "Hunger Games" movie has. So is the same with a story about Steve Jobs.
The next step is where some fun speculation can begin. Who will play Steve Jobs? Noah Wyle has the benefit of playing Jobs in a TV movie called "Pirates of Silicon Valley." Ashton Kutcher is playing Jobs in another movie set for release this fall, so he's likely out. Joshua Malina has worked with Sorkin before on "West Wing" and "Sports Night," but I don't know if he's a good fit for the part.
Who do you think will play Jobs? What about Steve Wozniak? Do you like the Sorkin pick as much as I do? Talk about it in the comments below.