Sorkin: ‘Steve Jobs’ actor ‘will have to be intelligent’

“Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin said Wednesday that work on the ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic is still in ‘a very early stage’ as he works to adapt the best-selling biography by Walter Isaacson for the screen,” Dan Gallagher reports for MarketWatch. “Sorkin spoke at the D10 conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.”

“While there are a couple film projects in the works on the life of the late Apple Inc. co-founder, Sorkin has been tapped to adapt ‘Steve Jobs’ by Isaacson,” Gallagher reports. “The book was released two weeks after the tech icon died of cancer last October and was an instant best-seller, as Isaacson was the only biographer whom Jobs granted interviews.”

Gallagher reports, “The title role of Jobs has not yet been cast, and Sorkin acknowledged that finding the right actor would be a challenge. ‘Whoever plays Steve Jobs will have to be smart. There’s a lot of things that actors can fake. Intelligence is not one of them.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There’s a joke in here somewhere and its punchline is “Ashton Kutcher.”

Related articles:
Which actor should play Steve Jobs in Sony’s biopic? – May 24, 2012
Ashton Kutcher ‘jOBS’ movie begins filming in original Apple garage – May 18, 2012
Aaron Sorkin hires Woz as advisor, says ‘Steve Jobs’ movie won’t be straight bio – May 18, 2012
Aaron Sorkin to pen Sony’s ‘Steve Jobs’ screenplay based on Walter Isaacson bio – May 16, 2012
Ashton Kutcher believes the role of Steve Jobs was meant for him – April 22, 2012
Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs in ‘Jobs’ biopic – April 1, 2012
Aaron Sorkin ‘strongly considering’ writing screenplay for Sony’s Steve Jobs biopic – November 23, 2011
‘Steve Jobs’ bio becomes fastest-selling book since President George W. Bush’s ‘Decision Points’ – November 3, 2011
Sony Pictures acquires rights to Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs bio for major feature film – October 7, 2011

40 Comments

    1. Just because he plays an idiot on TV and in Movies doesn’t mean Kutcher is stupid.

      He got into MIT and most of us wouldn’t be able to do that. He was handling the work and the pressure when he quit to become an actor.

      He would pass the Sorkin test, would you?

      1. MIT may not the ultimate litmus test of one’s intelligence. Besides which, I can’t find any evidence of Mr. Kutcher attending that school. It is possible that you may have confused International Modeling and Talent Association (IMTA) with MIT.

        You made me look him up in Wikipedia, now maybe it’s your turn (or I want my 5 minutes back):

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashton_Kutcher

    2. To get where they are, well known actors have to be intelligent; luck can only take you so far.

      Acting intelligent – that’s another matter. Kutcher, and others, have not mastered that.

  1. Christian Bale. He’s intelligent, passionate, a perfectionist, but more importantly, he makes a good A-hole. Everything we know SJ was (if we’re honest guys!!). Also, the tantrums will be part of the heart beat of the character – so it’s important.

    1. So what if he was an a-hole. Why would that make the movie more interesting? I’d be more interested in the inner demons of the man. What it was like being adopted. The influence his adoptive parents had on him. His acid experience. All these things are more interesting to me than rehashing the tabloid he-was-and-a-hole BS everyone’s already rehashed a bazillion times.

      1. I’m not crazy about him, but Bale has made a living of playing characters with inner demons.

        I could actually see Kutcher playing the younger Jobs, but not the Jobs who was born at NeXT/Pixar.

    1. I think who they select will in large part depend on what part of SJ’s life the film will concentrate on. The Early Years? Exile at NeXT and Pixar? The Triumphal Return? SJ’s appearance was so different in each.

  2. Actors can’t fake intelligence? Give me a break. That’s why actor does. The problem with actors is they actually believe they’re intelligent because of the brilliant scripts they read. i.e. Whoopi (STNG) Guinan and Ganine Garafolo. Good looks and brains don’t go together in Hollywood.

  3. “There’s a lot of things that actors can fake. Intelligence is not one of them.”

    Which is why Denise Richards was so miscast in “The World Is Not Enough”.

    1. Obviously, that was a joke (as was the character’s name — Christmas). After all, it was a James Bond film, which is a joke in itself. In a way, she was perfectly cast to play a ‘nucular’ physicist…

  4. Jab or not against Mr. Kutcher, thank you Mr. Sorkin for setting a clear expectation focussed on intelligence. I find that a step in the right direction. I’m warming up to the movie already.

    1. Love that you have chosen a woman to play Jobs (even if with a tongue in cheek); however, Meryl Streep wouldn’t get my vote of confidence to play the role. Too one-dimensional for my taste.

      In a somewhat unrelated note: her Oscar winning portrayal of Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke in Out of Africa, it had been considered that Streep came up with one of the worst Danish English accent. Seriously, look it up on YouTube or somewhere, and see if you can keep a straight face now. I wasn’t particularly impressed with her Italian American nor Australian accents. Yet, she boldly insists on taking on these “acting” challenges. Sadly, most Americans are not only oblivious to this, they actually celebrate her as a master of foreign accents and roles. Amazing!

    1. You have to be kidding me… Brad Pitt plays Brad Pitt in every movie he’s in. With that stupid ‘Yeah… I know I’m Brad Pitt’ smirk… I’d smirk too if I was him don’t get me wrong but he just doesn’t have what it takes to play Jobs.

      With that said… Christian Bale all the way!!!

  5. “There’s a lot of things that actors can fake. Intelligence is not one of them.’”???? Really?

    All actors ever do is fake it, especially intelligence, because none of them are truly intellectual. .

    Sorkin, every actor I have worked with (college plays, tv ads, short documentaries) was decidedly not intelligent. Most all are charming, charismatic, outwardly confident (often undeservedly so), privately very insecure, vapid, narcissistic, craving attention, self aggrandizing, and lacking a strong sense of self or personality.

    Most want a cause to believe in but they are too dumb to really identify anything really complex. As a result they fervently crusade for goofy things: meryl streep-banning alar, Tom Cruise and others-dianetics, clooney-all kinds of left wing pop causes, the list goes on.

    No actor is a towering intellect, otherwise they would be doing something else like practicing medicine, science or engineering. Sorkin and Hollywood seem to forget this all too often.

    1. You clearly have very limited experience with professional actors.

      Having worked with so many for over 30 years, I can say that many more of the don’t fit your profile than do. What you described is a stereotype that is perhaps true for third-tier (and a few second-tier) wanna-be actors. The ones with gift and skill also have depth of intellect and breadth of knowledge that are certainly well above the average MDN reader.

      Labeling Clooney’s personal quest for attention on Darfur as goofy invalidates pretty much everything you say here. You clearly have a pre-conceived opinion about some thing (apparently, filtered by American domestic political party alignment), and are unable to make educated independent and objective observations because of the filtering your party alliance imposes on your thinking. It is fascinating to watch America rapidly sink towards this political groupthink, where every single issue is channeled through the filter of a political party, regardless of how apolitical the issue may be.

      1. Predrag,
        You are right, I have never worked with any famous or big name actors. Usually I work with physicists, surgeons, PhDs in hard science. Intellectually, no actor can hold a candle to them. But I bet Steve Jobs could have held his own with them.

        Actors are interesting and charismatic but not that smart, generally. Some are well intentioned, decent people (i.e. Paul Newman) but they rarely are brilliant.

        While some celebrities have made popular worthwhile causes (Clooney and his work on the Sudan as you point out) many more celebrity actors are mouthpieces for nonsense, i.e. TIm Robbins crusades against… capitalism, Sean Penn is anti UK, John Travolta getting Scientology tax exempt status in Germany and US… to name a couple off the top of my head.

        You say I have a preconceived bias, my preconception is I wish society rewarded those genius people more than we do currently. While we throw money at people for being attractive or able to throw a ball well, many of the scientists I know are isolated and ignored because few people understand, much less appreciate, what they do.

        Lastly, you say “every single issue is channeled through the filter of a political party”, I did not inject politics into this discussion, you did. Perhaps your rush to judgment says something about your biases.

        1. Your very well written and intelligent post definitively deserves a proper response.

          I will definitely agree with you on most of your points. I wouldn’t really imagine comparing scientific minds (and I’m not just talking about exceptional ones, such as Tesla, or Einstein, or other famous ones, but all of those researches out there today) to actors. After all, you really can’t get a PhD in acting…

          In my life, I did meet quite a few very intelligent actors. Had they chosen some scientific field to pursue, I am convinced, many of them would have been quite successful. Acting, as a profession, holds an appeal that is sometimes difficult to resist. It is not just for dumb ones. You are certainly right about the way our society holds these public figures in disproportionately high regard. Regrettably, there is very little chance that would ever change.

          As for the remark about the ‘political filter’, I may have read something that wasn’t there, but that certainly wasn’t because of any bias of my own (as a non-American, I really don’t have a horse in that race); perhaps it was more because MDN discussions so frequently tend to veer in that direction that I was ready to interpret it that way. I definitely didn’t mean to offend and I’m sorry if it came off wrong.

    1. He’s Chaplin was simply inspiring. He is a very talented actor and may even pull this off. One doesn’t have to be dead ringer to portray someone accurately. The best Napoleon I have seen was by Rod Steiger in Waterloo. Indistinguishable. Mr. Steiger hardly had altered his outside appearance, yet was thoroughly convincing by his mannerism alone. Brilliant!

      I wonder if Mr. Malcovitch would also be up for a consideration.

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