Can the Steve Jobs biopic deliver?

Multiple movies with similar subjects that go head to head with each other are a common phenomenon in Hollywood.

We had two Snow White movies this year, Deep Impact and Armageddon were two asteroid films that competed in 1998, there were four Alexander the Great movies in development before Oliver Stone’s made the finish line, and now there are  two Steve Jobs biopics.

One is set up at Sony, and Aaron Sorkin (The Social Network) is going to write the screenplay. As we reported on TG, Sorkin has an innovative idea for the script, where the movie will only be three scenes that are thirty minutes long each, with each capturing Jobs right before Apple launches a new product. It’s definitely a risky way to do such a long awaited story, although Sorkin is skilled enough of a writer that he could indeed pull it off. 

Meanwhile, the other Steve Jobs biopic that quickly went into production, which stars Ashton Kutcher as the late Apple visionary, will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27 ,2013. As the Hollywood Reporter tells us, the film is called jOBS, and it’s closing the festival, which is definitely a big deal. 

Initially you got the feeling that jOBS was quickly rushed to beat out Sony’s movie about Steve. Truthfully, I’m not exactly thrilled with Ashton Kutcher, although he does indeed look like Jobs in the photos I’ve seen so far. Kutcher was cast back in April, and the film also stars Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine. 

As the Reporter tells us, “Making it Sundance’s closing-night film was a shrewd move because it likely will ensure that plenty of film buyers, executives and agents stuck around until the festival’s end in order to take in the movie.” The Sundance organizers however claim that “Ashton Kutcher’s performance was quite remarkable…it seemed like he really tried to grasp all the nuances of who Steve Jobs was.”

If this is indeed the case, here’s to hoping that jOBS is a movie that does one of the greatest innovators of the 20th century justice. Steve was a very complex guy who’s not easy to capture, and if this movie pulls it off, God bless ‘em. As for the Aaron Sorkin biopic, who says there should only be one Jobs film? It isn’t exactly easy to capture somebody’s life in one movie, and if they both live up to expectations, the films can make nice companion volumes.