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A Tale Two Steve Jobs Biopics: One's Indie, the Other Isn't

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood December 4, 2012 at 3:51PM

Ashton Kutcher-starrer "jOBS," which will close the Sundance Film Festival in January, is the first of two Steve Jobs biopics. Below, here's what we know about the two projects, besides the fact that one is indie and the other--still being written by "The Social Network," "Newsroom" and "Moneyball" scribe Aaron Sorkin--isn't.
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Ashton Kutcher in "Jobs"
Ashton Kutcher in "Jobs"

Ashton Kutcher-starrer "jOBS," which will close the Sundance Film Festival in January, is the first of two upcoming Steve Jobs biopics.  Below, here's what we know about the two, besides the fact that one is indie and the other--still being written by "The Social Network," "Newsroom" and "Moneyball" scribe Aaron Sorkin--isn't.

-Sorkin's currently untitled project based on Walter Isaacson's bestselling official biography of Jobs is set up at Sony. The Oscar-winning scribe has already laid out his unusual concept for the script: he will hang the film on three primary sequences, each coming in at about 30 minutes in length. Each will capture the moment in Jobs' life right before the launch of a new Apple product -- the original Macintosh, the NeXT Cube and the iPod.

-"JOBS," on the other hand, according to the unrevealing Sundance description, focuses on "the defining 30 years of Steve Jobs' life." Directed by Joshua Michael Stern ("Swing Vote") from a script by first-time writer Matt Whitely, the film  premieres on closing night at Sundance, January 27, 2013 (after many attendees have gone home). The filmmakers rushed to land that berth, ever since the news of the rival Sony Jobs project. They cast Kutcher in April as the Apple visionary, alongside Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine. While some eyebrows have been raised at the thought of one of the "Two and a Half Men" playing Jobs (despite Kutcher's striking physical resemblance to the Apple founder), Sundance programmers claim that Kutcher's performance is "quite remarkable."

This article is related to: News, Ashton Kutcher, Aaron Sorkin (screenplay), Sony, News, Steve Jobs, Festivals, Sundance, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.