Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

Ashton Kutcher is not playing Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs

April 2, 2012: 5:47 AM ET

The star of Twitter and TV sitcoms is doing a quick indie film, not the Sony biopic

Source: idolr.com

The blogosphere lit up Sunday night with the news that Ashton Kutcher, star of Twitter and TV Sitcoms (That 70s Show, Two and a Half Men), had been signed to play the title role in Jobs, a film being described as the story of Steve Jobs' transformation from "wayward hippie" to co-founder of Apple (AAPL) and "one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of our time."

While it's true (at least according to Variety and The Hollywood Reporter) that Kutcher has been cast to play Jobs in a movie, this is not THE movie Hollywood has been waiting for -- the one based on the biography Walter Isaacson wrote with Jobs' cooperation and for which Sony (SNE) paid dearly for the rights.

Money, of course, is no guarantee of quality in the film business. But the Kutcher vehicle -- scheduled to go into production in May, when Two and a Half Men is on hiatus -- has the earmarks of something being thrown together on the cheap.

The director, Joshua Michael Stern, has two films under his belt: Swing Vote (6 out of 10 on IMDB) and Neverwas (6.6). See trailers here and here. The only credits I could find for producer Mark Hulme was as a camera operator on The Chemical Brothers: Don't Think (in production) and a production assistant in Cheating God out of Christianity. Matt Whiteley, who is doing the script, has no screenwriting credits whatsoever.

Sony, of course, is perfectly capable of blowing whatever millions it spent for the movie rights to Isaacson's book. But if, as rumored, Aaron Sorkin (Moneyball, The Social Network, The West Wing, Sports Night) might be writing the screenplay of Steve Jobs's life, that's the movie I want to see.

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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