We’ve told you guys all about the new Steve Jobs film starring Ashton Kutcher. It’s not the blockbuster film based on Walter Isaacson’s biography Sony is working on, but many Apple fans have kept close eyes on the independent film as production has started to ramp up. Now that we know Kutcher will be playing Jobs, a recent interview with producer Mark Hulme revealed the movie’s title – Jobs: Get Inspired – and that the plot of the film will cover Jobs’ life from 1971-2000.
Despite my desire for this movie to be great, we keep hearing new details that reinforce that the flick is bound to be terrible. Mark Hulme’s recent interview only exacerbated my dread. Rather than being able to pull a Kathryn Bigelow and drop an amazing indie movie out of nowhere, the team behind Jobs: Get Inspired are probably destined to lay a dud.
Here are five signs why Jobs: Get Inspired is probably going to be terrible:
1 – It’s being produced by Mark Hulme who made his money as the founder of Five Star Institute, which is a publishing, marketing, communications and trade show production company. I’m not saying that a millionaire from Dallas Texas, who produces two mortgage industry magazines, can’t be the next Speilberg, but real estate guys aren’t exactly known for their cinematic vision. Mark Hulme’s company decided to get into film production after they noticed the buzz around Jobs when he announced his retirement. Even though Hulme has never made a movie before, he is pouring $15million into Jobs: Get Inspired as their first production, and plans to make one movie every year.
2 – The plot will focus on the period of 1971-2000, which is pretty similar to the Pirates of Silicon Valley. Do we need another movie that tries to capture nearly 30 years of Jobs’ life in under two hours? Can it explore aspects of Steve’s life in a way that hasn’t been attempted yet? The script for the movie was penned by Five Star writer Matt Whitely. It is his first screenplay. Lots of unknown writers have delivered amazing screenplays that went on to become highly acclaimed indie films. Will Whitely’s script for Jobs: Get Inspired be one of those, “Holy crap where’d this guy come from” moments?
3 – Joshua Michael Stern is directing. If you just said “who the hell is that?” you’re not alone. Stern has a couple of movies under his belt, including 2008 comedy Swing Vote, starring Kevin Costner, that was a total box office dud, and 2005’s Neverwas that went straight to DVD, despite boasting a cast that included Aaron Eckhart, Sir Ian McKellen, Nick Nolte, and Brittany Murphy. Why did Joshue Michael Stern get chosen to direct Jobs: Get Inspired? Probably because he was the cheapest guy who had some experience (this is an indie movie after all):
“We wanted a director who could not only buy into and execute our vision for the film but could also work within our framework as an independent film company.”
4 – It’s called Jobs: Get Inspired. Doesn’t that sound like some cheesy infomercial, or a video that would be played at a Tony Robbins seminar? To be fair, it is a “working title” and hopefully they change it to something better, ie. not “iSteve” or “iJobs.” A great title is key for an indie movie, especially when you’re trying to sell Ashton Kutcher as a serious dramatic actor. You don’t need to have great acting chops to walk around in a movie and yell “This is total shit!” every 10 minutes, but shouldn’t you have some skill? We’re talking about banking your 15 million dollar film on the guy who jumped at the chance to be in New Year’s Eve. I hope Ashton does an excellent job in the movie. John C. Reilly was in both Boogie and Talladega Nights, so maybe this will be Kutcher’s breakthrough performance, but I wouldn’t count on it.
5 – The movie probably won’t be very critical of Jobs and will be more of an appreciation piece despite having the creative freedom of being an indie film. When asked whether Steve Jobs’ friends and family will appreciate the movie, Hulme replied:
We have purposed for the movie to be an accurate and inspirational portrayal of his fascinating life and the huge impact he had on the world, so yes we expect his family and friends to appreciate it.
It’s probably fair to say that if Jobs’ family is going to appreciate the movie then it will shy away from being critical of him, which will also affect its accuracy as well. We’ll probably be submitted to a bland happy tale the turns El Jobso into a mythological businessman rather than a realistic human portrayal. It’s a shame really because as an independent film studio, Five Star Productions has an opportunity to explore the darker aspects of Jobs’ psyche in a way major studios would be afraid to pursue because they want to make movies everyone likes in order to maximize their profits.
To recap – Jobs: Get Inspired, will be produced by a guy with no Hollywood experience, scripted by an unknown writer, with a director who has only made crappy movies despite working with great actors. It will star an actor who is known more for his relationship with an aging Hollywood cougar than his romantic comedies, and it is being rushed through production they can finish the film before Sony’s big budget Steve Jobs film steals publicity.
Maybe that formula spells indie success and a couple of Cannes Film Festival awards, but probably not. It’s certainly being led by an All-Underdog Team with a lot going against them, but that’s what America is all about. We love underdogs who come out of nowhere to shock us, just like Steve Jobs and Apple have done repeatedly. Which on second thought, maybe this is the perfect super-team to make a movie about one of the world’s most polarizing figures.
What do you think? Will Jobs: Get Inspired be the year’s hottest indie film, or critical and box office failure? Let us hear your opinion in the comments.