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Aaron Sorkin: Whoever Plays Steve Jobs Needs To Be Intelligent

Screenwriter talks upcoming Steve Jobs biopic

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Aaron Sorkin: Whoever Plays Steve Jobs Needs To Be Intelligent
[ Technology]

Earlier this month, we received confirmation on the rumor that Aaron Sorkin would be the man to adapt the screenplay for the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic. The film, slated for release in 2014, will be based on Walter Isaacson’s bestselling biography Steve Jobs. I’m sure most people feel Sorkin is up to the task, if not the perfect man for the job. I mean, the last time he wrote a screenplay based on a book about a tech giant it turned out alright.

Today, at the D10 conference, Sorkin talked about his writing process, specifically the details of tackling an iconic figure like Jobs. He gave us a few hints about the structure of the film and also talked about how he expects the lead role to be cast.

Sorkin acknowledged that biopics are oftentimes difficult to write, simply because the structure of the film is almost already written. We can expect his script to sway from the traditional “cradle-to-grave structure” of many biopics. Instead, he said that he was “going to identify the point of friction that appeals to me and dramatize that.” Of course, we could rattle off a few notable “points of friction” rather quickly, so it’s unclear what Sorkin will choose to focus on. We know that the “competing” Steve Jobs biopic (the indie one starring Ashton Kutcher) will focus heavily on Jobs’ early years.

Adding another layer of difficulty to the development of the script is Jobs’ iconic presence. Sorkin likened it to writing about The Beatles, in that so many people have so many strong opinions about Jobs that it will be hard to navigate what he called a “minefield of disappointment.”

The screenplay is an important (many would argue the most important) ingredient to making the film viable, but casting of the lead role is also a huge decision. Sorkin didn’t give any inside information on any actors in the running, but he did say that whoever play Jobs will “have to be a very good actor.” He went on to say that he’ll have to be smart, because you can’t fake smart.

Whoever is chosen for Sorkin’s Jobs film will have a hard time beating the choice of Ashton Kutcher for the indie film in terms of physical resemblance. Kutcher is nearly a spot-on match for a young Steve Jobs. Some on the interwebs have wondered if Kutcher’s acting chops are strong enough for the part, however.

We’re pretty confident leaving the screenwriting task in Sorkin’s hands, albeit curious about the direction he’ll take the Jobs character. With Sorkin at the helm, we’re hoping that a complicated man like Jobs is treated with the nuance that the story demands.

[Via All Things D]

Aaron Sorkin: Whoever Plays Steve Jobs Needs To Be Intelligent
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