Aaron Sorkin’s Pixar Movie Would’ve Been About Talking Office Supplies, Writer’s Block and Leprechauns
Pixar’s business model is simple but powerful. It’s a two-step process, essentially: choose a thing that does not talk, and then make it talk. Talking toys, talking bugs, talking cars, talking fish, talking rats — they’ve all worked in the past for Pixar, and so it only makes sense that Aaron Sorkin would draw on this same well of inspiration when dreaming up a pitch for the animation studio.
An exclusive from Digital Spy revealed as much yesterday when relating a phone call between the screenwriter and the late Apple visionary/subject of Sorkin’s latest film, Steve Jobs. Jobs offered Sorkin a job cooking up a script for Pixar, inviting him to throw around some ideas, and Sorkin came through with a bizarre, unimaginative, and cynical concept.
Turning to the old “write what you know” dictum, Sorkin tried to sell Jobs on a story in which a struggling screenwriter finds that his work has been magically completed to perfection with every new morning. Sorkin explained that he’d structured the film around an old joke about screenwriters, quoted below:
One day he comes down to his kitchen and right there on the table is a screenplay, and it’s got his name on it. He reads the screenplay, and it’s fantastic, and he takes it to the studio, and they really like it, and straight away say, ‘We’re going to make this movie! Here’s your cheque! The next morning, the writer goes down to his kitchen and there’s another screenplay with his name on it. He reads it and it’s also fantastic, so he takes it to the studio, and the same thing happens. So finally, the next night, the writer decides to tip toe downstairs in the middle of the night to see what is going on. Sure enough, there’s a little leprechaun in his house, typing away, and the writer says, ‘I don’t know how to thank you! You’ve saved my life! You’ve revived my career! I’m celebrated! I can pay my mortgage! I’m so happy – is there anything I can do to repay you?”And the leprechaun says, ‘Well, it would be great if you could share screenwriting credit with me…’ So the writer says, ‘Go f**k yourself.’
Sorkin’s pitch was pretty much that, but with a gaggle of friendly office supplies instead of a prolific leprechaun. Sorkin himself admitted that he had no idea where to take the story after the protagonist closes out the first act by telling the living office supplies to f**k themselves. Either way, it’d make for the most jaded entry in a canon defined by its total lack of cynicism. And it’d be nothing short of surreal to see a CGI paper clip trading one-liners about Gilbert and Sullivan with an animated bottle of white-out.