Aaron Sorkin

Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) often writes about characters in the workspace, so it’s not surprising to learn he once half-envisioned a Pixar movie about office supplies. Back in the 1990s, Sorkin was approached about writing a movie for the studio, but nothing ever came of it.

However, if you’ve ever wanted to know what that Aaron Sorkin Pixar movie would’ve looked like, find out after the jump.

Sorkin, who just wrote a fantastic bio film about Steve Jobs, spoke with the man himself three times over the phone. One of those calls involved the innovator asking the screenwriter if he’d take a tour of Pixar, to see if he’d be interested in writing an animated feature. Three years ago Sorkin shared the conversation he had with Jobs.

But it’s his last call I’ll always remember. He wanted me to write a Pixar movie. I told him I loved Pixar movies, I’d seen all of them at least twice and felt they were small miracles, but that I didn’t think I’d be good at it.

STEVE: Why not?

ME: I just—I don’t think I can make inanimate objects talk.

STEVE: Once you make them talk they won’t be inanimate.

ME: The truth is I don’t know how to tell those stories. I have a young kid who loves Pixar movies and she’ll turn cartwheels if I tell her I’m writing one and I don’t want to disappoint her by writing the only bad movie in the history of Pixar.

(long silence)

STEVE: Jeez … write about THAT.

ME: Steve—

STEVE: Why don’t you come up here and let me give you a tour of the place.

I told him I’d take him up on it and I never did. But I still keep thinking about that Pixar movie.

More recently, speaking with Digital Spy, Sorkin revealed an idea that he’d had for that movie.

What I was thinking about was everything we use to write: papers, laptops, those things. The writer, he’d be a secondary character. All these objects you’d find in an office [would come to life]… Yes, don’t limit it to just what you’d use for writing, actually.

[…] And it all stems from this old joke about a screenwriter who is experiencing terrible writers’ block, and it’s been going on for a year and he hasn’t been able to write anything.

Here’s that joke as explained by Sorkin:

One day he comes down to his kitchen and right there on the table is a screenplay, and it’s got his name on it. He reads the screenplay, and it’s fantastic, and he takes it to the studio, and they really like it, and straight away say, ‘We’re going to make this movie! Here’s your cheque! The next morning, the writer goes down to his kitchen and there’s another screenplay with his name on it. He reads it and it’s also fantastic, so he takes it to the studio, and the same thing happens. So finally, the next night, the writer decides to tip toe downstairs in the middle of the night to see what is going on. Sure enough, there’s a little leprechaun in his house, typing away, and the writer says, ‘I don’t know how to thank you! You’ve saved my life! You’ve revived my career! I’m celebrated! I can pay my mortgage! I’m so happy – is there anything I can do to repay you?”And the leprechaun says, ‘Well, it would be great if you could share screenwriting credit with me…’ So the writer says, ‘Go f**k yourself.

Sorkin continued, “So my Pixar idea is that instead of it being a leprechaun, it’s all the objects in his office. What if all the objects in his office are trying to help him out?”

Unfortunately, Sorkin could never figure out where to take the story after the first act. “I don’t have a second or a third act. I hear they’re important in movies!” he said. Still, that setup sounds like it would make for a wonderful short film.

Steve Jobs is now in theaters.

Note: This story has been updated since its original publication.

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