Posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2012 by Russ Fischer
The public knows Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in large part through the appearances he made on stage to deliver keynote speeches during Apple product launch events. The exec’s personality made him a focus for those interested in the intersection between tech and culture, and as the long-time face of Apple, Jobs became synonymous with the company, and with the particular way the company interacts with its customer base.
So if one was going to make a biopic about Jobs, those keynotes could be a prime lens through which to view the man. And that is exactly how Aaron Sorkin is approaching the Jobs bio he is currently scripting. Reportedly, Sorkin’s script will feature three long real-time sequences written around specific Apple events.
Here’s what came out of the Daily Beast today:
Aaron Sorkin: Each of the 3 :30 min scenes in Steve Jobs movie will take place backstage before a product launch. That's the movie. #hero12
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) November 15, 2012
That’s from the Daily Beast’s “Hero” conference, and we even know which specific product launches will be used: the Mac, NeXT, and the iPod.
Using those three products puts the movie on a span of time that crosses decades, as the original Macintosh was released in 1984; the NeXT — Job’s effort after his first stint at Apple and before his second — was introduced in 1988; and the iPod hit in 2001. That also means that the film will effectively cover the full spectrum of Jobs’ years with Apple, from the company’s early success, to the period after his ouster from Apple in 1985, and the company’s surge of success after Apple bought NeXT in the mid-’90s, leading to Jobs’ return to the executive roster shortly afterward.
I’d love to see this become the film. After watching Lincoln, I found myself wishing that Steven Spielberg had cast Daniel Day-Lewis in a film much like Robert Altman’s Secret Honor, in which Philip Baker Hall was the lone cast member, playing Richard M. Nixon in a presentation that is really just one extended monologue.
This could be pretty close to that Altman approach, and that would give whatever actor plays Jobs the chance to really show off his work. It will be a ballsy move, but not one that is really out of left field for Sorkin, whose original writing success was for the stage. This would push him back in that direction, and would also be a very unique way to contrast the public face of Jobs with the man behind the scenes.