Back in 2011, Sorkin said that he balked when Steve Jobs asked if he wanted to write a Pixar movie. “I just — I don’t think I can make inanimate objects talk,” he told the Apple founder. Jobs responded, “Once you make them talk, they won’t be inanimate.” Touché! In an interview with Digital Spy for his film Steve Jobs, he elaborates that the movie would have been about this very problem: writer’s block.
In his story, the writer would be a “secondary” character, with the animated world populated by office supplies of various stripes coming together to make some screenwriting magic. He explains:
One day [the writer] comes down to his kitchen and right there on the table is a screenplay, and it’s got his name on it. He reads the screenplay, and it’s fantastic, and he takes it to the studio, and they really like it, and straight away say, ‘We’re going to make this movie! Here’s your check!’ The next morning, the writer goes down to his kitchen and there’s another screenplay with his name on it. He reads it and it’s also fantastic, so he takes it to the studio, and the same thing happens. So finally, the next night, the writer decides to tip toe downstairs in the middle of the night to see what is going on.
Sure enough, there’s a little leprechaun in his house, typing away, and the writer says, ‘I don’t know how to thank you! You’ve saved my life! You’ve revived my career! I’m celebrated! I can pay my mortgage! I’m so happy — is there anything I can do to repay you?’ And the leprechaun says, ‘Well, it would be great if you could share screenwriting credit with me …’ So the writer says, ‘Go fuck yourself.’
But in his kid-friendly Pixar version, instead of a leprechaun, it would be the office supplies that would help the writer out. “But I don’t have a second or a third act,” he said. “I hear they’re important in movies!” Maybe ask the magic paperclip for some help?