Posted on Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 by Angie Han
Now that The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin is firmly on board to pen Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic, the question is how exactly he plans to do it. And while Sorkin’s had plenty of experience writing about real-life people and events, there’s added pressure this time around because the late Apple co-founder has a far higher profile than did the Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane or Texas congressman Charlie Wilson, or even Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg when Sorkin wrote movies about them.
In a talk at the AllThingsD conference this week, Sorkin admitted his hesitation about tackling a modern icon, and offered a few thoughts on how he might want to approach the task at hand. Read more of his comments after the jump.
“It is a little like writing about The Beatles,” Sorkin said during the conference. The writer added that he foresaw “a minefield of disappointment” from Jobs fans who would inevitably criticize any decision Sorkin made, perhaps recalling some of the heat he took for his embellished portrayal of Zuckerberg in The Social Network.
Sorkin has yet to start actually writing the screenplay — “It’s a process of procrastination, where you’re trying to figure out where the movie is going,” he observes — but he does have a few ideas about how he’d like to do it. Though the Sony film takes Walter Isaacson‘s bestselling biography as its source material, the scribe reiterated his earlier comments about wanting to “shake the cradle-to-grave” structure of a traditional biopic. Instead, he intends to “identify the point of friction that appeals to [him] and dramatize that.”
In addition, Sorkin emphasized that his biopic would be “a painting, not a photograph”; that is, an interpretation of the true story rather than a dead-on recreation of it. Still, this is Sorkin, so don’t expect him to totally gloss over the details. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, who remained in touch with Jobs to his death, signed on a few weeks ago to advise on both the technical and character aspects of the film.
As for which lucky actor might get to step into those famous New Balance 991s, Sorkin claimed to have no idea who was in the mix. But, he said, whoever got the gig would have to “talk fast and be smart.” (And presumably be good at walking briskly while doing so.) “Intelligence is something actors can’t fake,” he noted.
Of course, there is one star who’s already been cast as Jobs — just not in Sorkin and Sony’s film. Sorkin touched upon the other, Ashton Kutcher-starring Steve Jobs movie, asserting that he has no problem with it. “Steve Jobs is a big enough person, big enough life that there’s room for more than one movie,” he said.