Hollywood screenwriter Aaron Sorkin was interviewed today by Walt Mossberg at the D10 conference in California. Sorkin has been hired by Sony to adapt Walter Isaacson’s official biography of Steve Jobs, and he has already tapped Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to help advise him during the production process.
Sorkin talked about writing his Jobs movie today onstage. He described his writing process and how he wants to approach the film. After affirming that the film is still in the earliest stages of production, Sorkin talked about how he wants the audience to relate to his script and the kind of actor he wants to play Jobs.
To Sorkin, writing a script is a “process of procrastination where you try to figure out what the movie is going to be about.” Echoing what he said earlier on the Jobs biopic, Sorkin remarked that “it’s very difficult to shake the cradle-to-grave structure of a biography.” Instead, Sorkin wants to “identify the point of friction that appeals to me and dramatize that.”
How long before Sorkin’s screenplay is ready for filming? “I’m at the earliest possible stage,” Sorkin said. “I’ll go through a long period that would not look to any causal observer like writing. It would look more like watching ESPN probably.” Sorkin was referring to the process of researching and gathering information on the late Apple co-founder.
“One of the hesitations I had in taking on the movie is that it was a little like writing about The Beatles,” said Sorkin. “There are so many people out there who know so much about him and who revere him. I just saw a minefield of disappointment.” Sorkin has hope, however. “Hopefully when I’m done with my research I’ll be in the same ballpark of knowledge about Steve Jobs.”
“Anytime you go to the movies and see ‘the following is a true story’, you should think of it as a painting, not a photography,” said Sorkin. The Social Network, an Oscar-winning film on Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg written by Sorkin, is the perfect example of what Sorkin refers to as “taking an authorial view” of history. It’s a dramatization, not play-by-play snapshots of history.
When asked who would play Jobs in his movie with Sony, Sorkin said that the role had not yet been cast. “They [the actor] are going to have to talk fast,” Sorkin said, referring to the intense way of speaking Jobs used to communicate. The actor will also have to be very smart, according to Sorkin. “Actors can fake a lot of things, but intelligence is something you can’t fake.”
Ashton Kutcher, an actor known for his comedic roles in shows like That 70’s Show, is also starring in an indie Jobs biopic that will be out later this year, and Sorkin acknowledges the project by saying that Steve Jobs is a big enough persona for there to be “room for more than one movie.”
“Steve Jobs is an extremely complicated guy,” said Sorkin. “I know this for sure: I can’t judge the character.” Sorkin said that he has to “find the parts of him [Jobs] that are like me” to defend the character. ”With a character like Steve Jobs, you want to write the character as if they are making the case to God why they should be allowed into heaven.”
- Source AllThingsD