Speaking to All Things D on Wednesday, Aaron Sorkin had plenty to say about the Steve Jobs biopic he’s now definitely writing. Still early into the process, Sorkin is procrastinating and trying to determine what the project’s all about. However, he doesn’t need to clock hundreds of hours with Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography to know that the process will be like writing a Beatles movie, in that millions of people are already imminently familiar with Jobs’s life and creations. “Anytime you’re at the movies, and you see the words the following is based on a true story, you should think about it as a painting, not a photograph,” Sorkin says. So expect a fast-talking Steve Jobs painting.
Since it’s tough to avoid making a formulaic biopic, Sorkin says, “I’m probably not going to write one.” He’ll venture into story-dominated turf rather than a checkpoint-oriented tale, much like he did with The Social Network, a film entirely about Mark Zuckerberg without it being a by-the-book Mark Zuckerberg biopic. Sorkin also says the project resembles a potential “minefield of disappointment” and that whoever ends up playing Jobs is “going to have be a very good actor.” A few more bits:
Who he likes depicting: “By and large, I write about people who are considerably smarter than I am.”
And why they talk so speedily: As a child, with an supersmart circle of family and friends, Sorkin “really fell in love with the phonetic sound of intelligence.”
Switching from an antihero story with The Social Network to the almost-always lionized Jobs: “My taste lies in quixotic heroes … I can’t judge this character [Jobs]. He has to be, for me, a hero … To put is as simply as possible, you want to write the character like they are making their case to God, why they should be let into heaven.”
What he’d ask Jobs before he made said case to God, on the topic of technology resonating so seamlessly with even toddlers: “If I could ask Steve Jobs anything, it would be ‘What’s that magic trick?’”