Ashton Kutcher’s ‘jOBS’ Gets a Start Date and a Synopsis
Hollywood has a history of similar, if not identical projects going head-to-head. A Kurt Russell-starring Wyatt Earp film faced off with a Kevin Coster-starring version in the early '90s. Oliver Stone's Alexander the Great movie killed Baz Luhrmann's. Outside of the biopic realm, Pixar's 'Finding Nemo' and DreamWorks' 'Shark Tale' were released in suspiciously close proximity. The trend continues this year, with two Snow White films hitting theaters and two Steve Jobs biopics entering production. One of the Steve Jobs movies recently hired Aaron Sorkin to pen the script. The other stars Ashton Kutcher will go before the cameras in June and already has an official site.
Like so many of these Hollywood showdowns, there's a very definite Goliath and a very definite David here. One version has the backing of Sony, the words of the Oscar-winning writer of 'The Social Network' and Walter Isaacson's official, authorized biography of Jobs as source material. The other is an independent production with a lead actor not necessarily known for his ability to portray geniuses who redefined technology for the 21st century.
However, the "David" here has a finished script, a leading actor and will be filming in a few weeks while the other version doesn't even have a director yet. It also has the uniquely awful title of 'jOBS' (previously 'Jobs: Get Inspired,' which has now become the tagline), but whatever, no one's perfect. The film's brand new website is pretty barebones right now, but it gives us our first official look at the title as well as this official synopsis:
"JOBS" is the incredibly powerful and true story of the visionary who set out to change the world, and did.
The film chronicles Steve Jobs' (ASHTON KUTCHER) transformation of character from the enthusiasm and self-discovery of his youth, to the personal demons that clouded his vision, and finally to the ultimate triumphs of his later life. Steve changed the way we see the world today through his relentless drive, passion, persistence, and the force of his will, and it is through these qualities that we draw inspiration from his life.
Dark, honest, and uncompromising, "JOBS" plunges into the depths of Steve Jobs' character, uncovering his motivations, his gifts, his flaws, his failures, and his successes. An immensely private tale spanning four decades, "JOBS" is an intensely character-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is a personal tale.
An rousing narrative of Steve Jobs' days, "JOBS" pulls no punches and does not speculate, only telling the candid account as seen through his eyes, emotions, and ingenuity. The life of Steve Jobs."
The official press release has a few more details scattered amongst the the normal pleasantries. Give it a skim and we'll quickly chat afterward:
The film chronicling the life of Steve Jobs, the Apple Inc. co-founder and charismatic master of innovation, begins principal photography in June and in keeping with the project's commitment to accuracy and authenticity, will film early scenes in the actual Los Altos home where Jobs grew up and in the historic garage where he and Steve Wozniak founded Apple.
Titled jOBS, the biopic stars Ashton Kutcher as the iconic Silicon Valley visionary, and will shed new light on Steve Jobs' most defining and personal moments, motivations, and the people that drove him. The film covers Jobs from his early years as an impressionable youth and wayward hippie, through his initial successes and infamous ousting, to his storybook return and ultimate triumphs as a man who set out to change the world and did just that.
Executive producer Mark Hulme and Five Star Feature Films launched the production immediately following Jobs' retirement in August 2011. Screenwriter Matt Whiteley, while penning the script, utilized a team of expert researchers based on months of exhaustive research and interviews with Steve Jobs' friends, colleagues, and mentors to develop the most truthful and gripping picture of Jobs' life.
From director Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote, Neverwas), and Oscar winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter (Titanic), jOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2000.
jOBS chronicles the 30 most defining years of Steve Jobs' life, as seen through his, colleagues', and friends' eyes. Dark, honest, and uncompromising, jOBS plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs' life.
A rousing narrative of this business and tech icon, jOBS pulls no punches and does not speculate, telling only the candid and captivating account of the life of Steven Paul Jobs.
The film is represented by Creative Artists Agency.
jOBS will be released in late fall 2012.
It's interesting that the press release emphasizes that 'jOBS' will cover Jobs' life from 1971 to 2000, right when he was on the verge of changing the way we interact with technology but not quite there. In fact, the film almost feels like its being pitched as a Steve Jobs origin story, explaining where the man in the black turtleneck came from instead of exploring the territory we all saw happen with our own two eyes. Also worthy of an eyebrow raise is the release window of "late fall 2012," which means that this thing is getting shot and edited at a sprint. The required timetable of an indie production or a callous attempt to pump the film out in time for Oscar season? We shall see.