When it was announced that Ashton Kutcher would be attempting to do justice to Steve Jobs in an Apple-centric biopic, it’s safe to say I disagreed a little bit with Tim on the casting choice. My thoughts basically boil down to “motherfucker looks just like him” and — more importantly — that the demand put on a talented person to step up his game for a project like this can yield interesting results. Kutcher is certainly talented, but I don’t know that he’s ever been pushed this hard with this much pressure, and I’m interested to see what happens. This is especially so when, as you’ll see, it’s not exactly a massive project riding on him…
See, the important thing to note is that Kutcher was not cast in the major Jobs biopic that was covered so frequently at the time of the tech giant’s passing. That film is coming from Sony, is based on Walter Isaacson’s massive best-selling book, and will likely be framed in the same sort of prestigious marketing narrative as Social Network and Moneyball. Though he declined, they were offering the film to Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin, so you know they mean business.
Instead, Kutcher joined Jobs: Get Inspired (thankfully a working title), a film that’s been under development for much longer, and comes from producer Mark Hulme. The thing is, the film is coming from a “publishing, marketing, communications, and conference company” that decided to get into the film business. It’s being directed by Joshua Michael Stern, best known for the Costner comedy Swing Vote, and features a script from first-timer Matt Whiteley. The producers aren’t worried about their film being overshadowed by Sony though, as they expect to get theirs out “well before their movie.”
All of this is to say: this thing is a bit on the ultra indie side. I’m not saying this is the Snakes On A Train or Transmorphers of Steve Jobs biopics, but… I’m not sure how to finish this sentence.
So look, just know that Sony still has their own project to cast, and that that is the film you’re likely to be hearing much more about. Still, casting Kutcher was definitely a loaded decision that drew some press for this more modest project, and you might be curious about their thought process on that one.
Since our film covers the early years of Apple, when Jobs was in his 20’s, we needed an actor who could carry not only the youthfulness of Jobs at the time but also the psychological complexity. Because of that, and Ashton’s physical similarities to Jobs, he’s perfect for our film. When Ashton read the script he was immediately attracted to the project. He is a Steve Jobs and Apple fan, and is technologically savvy, as well, so he recognized the historical importance of Steve Jobs and the potential of the project. He is very excited to have the role.
There are a number of key players in the story: Steve Wozniak, John Scully, Mike Markkula, Daniel Kottke. We are in discussion with some exciting actors for those roles but we’re not at liberty to announce other actors yet.
So there you go! Now you still get to wonder who will land the Jobs role in the bigger biopic, and wonder if we’re going to see a new Illusionist vs. Prestige style square off between these movies, updated with some fancy gadgets…