I don’t know about you, but there’s only one person I’d cast in a Steve Jobs biopic, and that is Noah Wyle. The actor, best known for playing Dr. John Carter in ER, played Jobs in a previous film, 1999′s Pirates of Silicon Valley – and absolutely nailed the performance. Capturing the mannerisms and look of Jobs so well that even Jobs himself felt compelled to acknowledge him in a humorous publicity stunt, for the Mac-world Expo, that same year.
So when I heard the news that Ashton Kutcher had been given the part of Jobs in a Biopic, I felt majorly disappointed. How could Hollywood mess up such a perfect bit of casting? People who know of Kutcher’s extra-curricular activities, outside of acting, know that he has made a fortune from dot com start-ups (Facebook, twitter and AirBnb – to name just a few of his astute investments), and so it may seem like a logical marriage of the two interests. But I just don’t see Kutcher pulling this one off.
There’s been plenty of talk about The West Wing’s Aaron Sorkin being the natural choice to pen the script, but this appears to have nothing to do with Kutcher’s film. Kutcher will be filming with director Josh Michael Stern, who I’m sure you’ve never heard of because all his previous 3 films have lost money and are of B-movie quality. And a script by obscure writer Mark Hume, who even IMDB has no info?!? To me this sounds like something Kutcher and Co. hastily threw together, 6 months after the release of Jobs’s Official Biography, to be the first film out the gate – This sounds terrible.
I personally think a film of this magnitude needs some time to develop and Sorkin knows what he’s doing. Kutcher’s project will most likely end up going straight to cable or DVD – or at least I hope so, that way we can forget this terrible passion project ever existed. Just like Nelson Mandela had Morgan Freeman, so Steve Jobs has Noah Wyle. Some actors were just meant to portray icons, while others (sorry Ashton) are not. Plus it helps when the person you’re playing actually thinks you’re right for the part.
Yes, Wyle might look older now since his last portrayal, but rather than rehash Jobs’s earlier life, as shown in POCV, it wold be better to continue on from where it ended. Start the new film from Steve Jobs’s return to Apple. Show how he rescued the company from near-bankruptcy, fought his battle with cancer and end with his Stanford commencement speech. Well at least that’s how I would do it…
[Here's the latest update for Asshole Kushton's passion project]
In the meantime here’s another look at Wyle in action…