Ken Segall Gives Advice To Aaron Sorkin On How To Make The Perfect Steve Jobs Biopic

Ken Segall Gives Advice To Aaron Sorkin On How To Make The Perfect Steve Jobs Biopic

How do you take a life that was lived so fully, with so much drama, triumph and failure, and condense it into a 2.5 hour movie that will effectively express Steve Jobs as a person? It’s a monumental task that will be nearly impossible for any screenwriter to accomplish.

No matter how great a job Aaron Sorkin does adapting Steve Jobs’s biography into a screenplay, some people are going to hate it and say parts were left out while other were embellished. Sorkin’s not aiming for Sony’s movie to be historically accurate though, so what do you think he should focus on?

Our friend Ken Segall, who worked closely with Steve for over a decade, has some great ideas on what the focus of Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay should be.

Act One. Steve builds Apple with Woz. Following his moment of glory with Macintosh, he suffers a crushing defeat when Sculley outmaneuvers him in a chess game involving moves and counter-moves, conspiracies and alliances. Steve is thrown out of his own company and it hurts him deeply.

Act Two. Steve picks up the pieces. He starts NeXT. He buys Pixar. He matures as a leader, as Apple begins failing without him. He also meets the love of his life. But something is still missing. He needs Apple, and Apple needs him. He hatches an almost unbelievable plan to get back to Apple and become its leader once again.

Act Three. Another chess game, only this time the stakes are way higher. Steve needs to seduce Apple into buying NeXT for over $400 million, gain a foothold in the company, win the confidence of the board and push out the current CEO. There are dark turns and moments when it looks like it might all fall apart. But Steve wins. He’s reunited with the company he created, in the one place he feels truly happy and empowered — with a world of possibilities before him. The end.

Focusing on just a few key moments in Steve’s career is great idea for a movie. You can’t cover all the bases in 2 hours, but focusing on Steve’s passion for Apple and trying to get back in, might make for some great drama that can show the range of Steve’s emotions. What do you think about Ken’s idea for the movie? Do you have something better in mind? Tell us in the comments.

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  • AKahney

    It’s not possible to cover any single person’s whole life in a movie biopic… look at John Lennon, look at Hitler! You have to pick one point in his / her life. Like, Lennon’s childhood, or Hitler’s last days in the bunker. You could even make a movie focusing on Steve Jobs’s battle with illness….

  • Ifan Morgan

    The recent movie about Margaret Thatcher turned out to be about the failing of memory with age, and perhaps a little about good intentions – not about Thatcher and her politics at all.  She was just a convenient vehicle for the message.  No idea what Sorkin’s story will be like, but hopefully it will be nothing like the exercise in hero-worship described in this article !

    BTW – 2.5hrs for a bio about a gadget geek ? Hmm….might need some caffeine for this one…..

  • vonchambers

    It’s not possible to cover any single person’s whole life in a movie biopic… look at John Lennon, look at Hitler! You have to pick one point in his / her life. Like, Lennon’s childhood, or Hitler’s last days in the bunker. You could even make a movie focusing on Steve Jobs’s battle with illness….

    I don’t want to watch Steve dying … even if its not actually him. I want to see him battle back to success. I think those Next years are some of the most interesting out of anything he has ever done and I’d like to see those years on screen. 

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Buster HeinBuster Hein is Cult of Mac's Social Media Editor. Hailing from Roswell, New Mexico, but now spending his days in Phoenix, Arizona, he wastes most of his time eating burritos and reading Spanish romance novels. Twitter: @bst3r.

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