Sony’s biopic of Steve Jobs has gone on a long and winding road to production, but the pieces are starting to come into place. Director Danny Boyle is calling the shots and hopes to begin shooting this winter. Casting is currently underway, with high-profile names like Seth Rogen and Michael Fassbender being eyed for the project.
The one constant through this whole process has been screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, who signed on to pen the screenplay three years ago when the film was first announced following Jobs’ death in October 2011. Due to the script’s unique structure (more on that in a minute), there are those who have been wondering how the movie will play on-screen, as a character-driven drama.
The Jobs biopic will be broken down into three, 30-minute scenes that played out in real time; showcasing the behind-the-scenes events prior to the official launches of the first Macintosh computer, the NeXT computer, and the original iPod. It doesn’t necessarily sound like the kind of picture that’s ripe for supporting characters, which is why recent comments by Sorkin come as a bit of a surprise.
Speaking at the Daily Beast‘s “Hero” conference (via Collider), Sorkin discussed the similarities between his Jobs film and 2010’s The Social Network, for which he won an Academy Award:
“Both films are much more about the people than the technology they invented. With The Social Network, I was interested in the psychology of the world’s most successful social networking system being invented by the world’s most anti-social guy. And in the case of Steve Jobs, it’s the relationship he had with his daughter, Lisa, that drew me into it.”
Sorkin later added that while Jobs’ daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs was not involved with Walter Isaacson’s Jobs biography (which served as the basis for Sorkin’s screenplay), she spent time with Sorkin and provided enough insight to be deemed the “heroine of the movie” by the Oscar-winner.
Jobs, in real life, swore in court documents that he couldn’t be her father before he reconnected with Lisa during her teen years. Their relationship in Boyle’s film should provide some weighty dramatic material, to help to supplement the examination of the effects Apple’s creations had on the world (which have already been touched on in the Ashton Kutcher-starring Jobs).
There’re been rumors that Interstellar star Jessica Chastain is circling a role in Boyle’s film, with no indication as to what that part might be. Sorkin’s revelation that Jobs’ daughter will be a primary focus gives us reason to believe that the Oscar-nominee is being eyed to portray Brennan-Jobs. Chastain’s well-known enough by now to warrant playing the “heroine” of a major production, even if it’s not clear yet much screen time that will entail.
Regardless, another layer of the new Jobs biopic has been peeled back. What was already an interesting film on paper (due to the structure) has yet another asset going for it. Now it just remains to be seen who actually commits (and stays onboard) to playing Jobs, be it Fassbender or someone else…
We’ll keep you updated on the untitled Steve Jobs biopic as more information becomes available.
Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisAgar90.