5 Reasons Why Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs Movie Will Probably Be Terrible



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 recapJobs: 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.


  • Brooklynscaper2

    I wrote a long message of appeciation for your article, but when I signed in it disappeared! What could that mean?!?
    Anyway, it’s “appreCiation”. Not a “T”. FYI.

  • ZeeKazim

    You only need ONE reason for that; it’s the one in the picture!

  • Tim Meesseman

    You only need ONE reason for that; it’s the one in the picture!

    Not necessarily… if you’ve seen The Butterfly Effect, Kutcher is actually a very talented actor. He isn’t a one-trick pony.

  • paulimpola

    It is gonna be an appalling desecration of Jobs’s life and legacy.
    The most I can hope for is that it will be the final nail in the coffin for the careers of both Kutcher and Hulme (Stern is already in his zombie phase).

  • John Lasher

    Besides him being a absolutely terrible actor?

  • Bob Forsberg

    Next to Steve Jobs playing Steve Jobs…House would make it a blockbuster.

  • sonofsci

    Reason 1: it stars Ashton Kutcher
    Enough said

  • jrobles

    “Jobs: Get Inspired, will be produced by a guy with no Hollywood experience, scripted by an unknown writer”

    You’re discouraging innovation by limiting your definition of good films to films directed and written by famous people. That’s why it’s an indie film, to lead the potential good actors to become famous.

    And don’t think we didn’t get that the only reason you praised the film at the end of the post is to appeal to both sides of the debate, that’s like saying “I think both sides have valid points”, if the title says “5 Reasons Why Ashton Kutcher’s Steve Jobs Movie Will Probably Be Terrible”, stick to your convictions, don’t be a pussy.

  • sonofsci

    One more thing, the glasses on Kutcher were photoshopped stupid big.

  • SherylLeee

    Eh. I don’t think AK is a terrible actor. I think he picks shit movies usually because he’s hot and he knows we (women-folk) will go see it. I do think he’s a good fit, as far as looks go. He kinda looks like young Jobs.

    Writers/producers/directors that aren’t unknowns are capable of making bad movies, just as the unknowns could make something great.

    The title is hella corny, but I’ll reserve judgement until I’ve at least seen a trailer.

  • rockarollr

    “This movie will be total shit! Start it over again!”

  • brianistweeting

    I think we’re all being punk’d.

    Haha, but seriously, while I like your guesswork based on clues from the past- there’s always a chance it may break from the mold. If I were a betting man, I’d bet you’re right (along with MacLife)- but I don’t gamble. We’ll just have to wait and see.

  • DavoteK

    Gotta love the internet and the negative bullshit that gets spouted even before something is released. Thought this was Cult of Mac, not Cult of Nostradamus.

  • mirixee

    Jobs: Un-inspires me… to watch this movie.

  • Ivey West

    A mortgage guy producing a movie seems as out of place as tech bloggers reviewing them :)

  • HolyHandGrenade

    You forgot the most obvious reason: Ashton Kutcher can’t act. Just another face who is nearly always asked to project his own persona, because that’s the only way he can be believable. This movie will go down as one of the worst in the last 10 years IMO. And there have been some serious cinematic abortions during that time.

  • HolyHandGrenade

    A mortgage guy producing a movie seems as out of place as tech bloggers reviewing them :)

    There’s a major flaw in your argument. Many tech bloggers (like any other demographic) watch lots of movies of all kinds. Moreover they are the intended audience above all other demographics, so seems reasonable to consider their opinions as being among the valid. You know where some of the worst / most clueless movie analysis on the planet comes from: “experts” in the LA media and professional movie reviewers. I’ll take Cult of Mac’s angle over the circle-jerk entertainment media any day of the week.

  • HolyHandGrenade

    “This movie will be total shit! Start it over again!”

    Disagree. Your “start over” premise is flawed. ;) They should just let the Isaacson people handle it.

  • ceanderson

    A better title… Dude, where’s my movie?

  • ceanderson

    As long as Eric plays Gates and Fez plays Scully, I’m okay with it.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    Well I disagree with this entire post. Yes, you’ve proven that the people working on this film aren’t the big budgeted, highly respected hollywood folk. That’s what Indie movies are, sir. And Aston isn’t even a bad actor. He was originally picked up to play stupid roles and he does that well, but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have other talents. He just get picked to do the same roles over and over again. Remember, an actor is a pawn to a director. If the director wants Aston to play the role he played in a dozen of other comedy movies, he has to act that role. He can’t just say, “Hey, listen bro’, I’m going to act the way I want to, so don’t think about telling me what to do.” He’d be fired in a second. In the end, wait for a trailer before making judgements.

    The downside to judging a movie by it’s title is that you go in with low expectations, so it warps your final judgement of a movie. It’s why people think some movies are FANTASTIC(!!!) then years later they change their view to “It was actually just a decent movie.”

    That is also the iPad by the way. iPad 1 was decent, not fantastic, but because everybody went in thinking it’s just a stupid, big iPod, those who used it found it did a lot more and were uber impressed by Apple. Try going back to an iPad 1 though from an iPad 2 or the new iPad and you’ll see what I mean.

  • Joe Gandini

    Check out the poll on thechurchofapple.com it’s pretty cool! It allows you to vote for the actor who could best play Jobs, Ashton is in the poll, vote for your favorite now!

  • ApplePr0n

    Eh, we’ll see. The only thing I like about the Kutcher casting is the fact that he looks strikingly similiar to Jobs