"jOBS" Biopic Aims for Authenticity

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox
May 30th, 2012

"jOBS" Biopic Aims for Authenticity

--For years, there has been talk of bringing the true story of the life of Steve Jobs to the screen. Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, one of the most successful businesses in the world, was beloved by a wide variety of people. Not only did geeks love him for his tech savvy, but also the mainstream public loved him for making gadgets that are intuitive and easy to use. After his death in October 2011 at the age of 56 due to pancreatic cancer, there has been renewed interest in the project, which was already in development at the time of his death.

Before a movie can get made, there has to be a script. For biopics, scripts are usually based on biographies or autobiographies. This is true for "jOBS," which is going to be based on the Walter Isaacson biography that was released shortly after Jobs' death. The script will be written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter and producer Aaron Sorkin, who is no stranger to movies about technology geniuses. He won the Oscar for writing the script for "The Social Network," which told the story of the creation of Facebook.

Sorkin wanted as much authenticity as possible for the film. To achieve that, he wanted to shoot as much of the movie as possible in the area where Jobs grew up. Building a set in the area was not enough for Sorkin, a notorious perfectionist, who insisted on filming scenes inside the actual house that Jobs' family owned when he was in his formative years. The garage of that house is where Jobs and his good friend Steve Wozniak first created the company that would later become known as Apple.

Wozniak, better know to Apple fans as "Woz," is also on board as a technology consultant. Sorkin wants to ensure that all the technology used in the film is accurate and realistic, that the prototypes look like the real things and that they are appropriate for the time they were invented. Wozniak not only agreed to help, but also praised the producers and the choice of actors. He will be portrayed in the film by Josh Gad, who starred on Broadway in the comedy "The Book of Mormon."

Jobs will be played by "Two and a Half Men" star Ashton Kutcher, who is no stranger to Apple products. An avid tweeter, Kutcher has previous expressed his love for the iPhone. He was so enthusiastic about taking on the role of the tech giant that he grew mutton chop sideburns to mimic the facial hair style of Jobs in the 1970s.

The movie has been in pre-production for so long that many writers and actors who had once been attached to the film left the project because of delays. Before Kutcher, several other actors had been rumored to be up for the plum part of Jobs, including George Clooney, who is 17 years older than Kutcher.

Producers of the film have said that "jOBS" will not be the usual biopic that follows the subject from cradle to grave. Instead, the film will span about 30 years of Jobs' life, including the humble beginnings of Apple. Kutcher will use special makeup and possibly prosthetics to make the ageing process appear realistic. Sorkin has also said that here will be "an element of tension or an obstacle" in the film, giving it a traditional story arc. In order to keep the movie accurate, the tension or obstacle will be a true story from Jobs' life.

"Swing Vote" director Joshua Michael Stern will also helm "jOBS." Filming is set to begin sometime in June 2012, when Sorkin will be free to focus only on the film and not on his many other projects. Though June was announced as the start date, Ashton Kutcher has been spotted around Los Angeles sporting the mutton chops and going to work on a local set as early as May 2012. Whether he is actually filming scenes from the movie or simply rehearsing is not known.

No exact release date has yet been set for the film. The production company will only say that the film is slated to open in theaters in the "late fall," which means the film could open at any time through November 2012. In the meantime, fans of Apple who are still mourning the loss of Steve Jobs are eagerly waiting to hear new information, which will likely continue to be released until the film finally premieres.