We haven’t really been following All Things D’s D10 conference, but when we heard Aaron Sorkin was slated to hit the stage, we decided to cue up the livestream. It’s a slow news day, after all.
We’re glad we did, though. In a discussion with Walt Mossberg, Mr. Sorkin revealed a few interesting details about the current film he’s working on–an adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s biography of the late Steve Jobs–including what kind of actor he envisions playing the title role.
1. He has barely started on the film.
“I’m at the earliest possible stage with Steve Jobs,” said Mr. Sorkin. “What I’ll do is go through a long period that, to the casual observer, might very well look like watching ESPN.”
2. The movie won’t be “cradle to grave” like the book was.
“I’ll focus on a point of friction that interests me,” said Mr. Sorkin.
3. He’s nervous to tackle a portrait of such a momentous culture figure.
“It was a little bit like writing about The Beatles,” confided Mr. Sorkin. “There are so many people out there that know so much about [Steve Jobs] and revere him. I just saw a minefield of disappointment, frankly….Hopefully when I’m done with my research I’ll be in the same ballpark of knowledge of Steve Jobs that so many people are.”
4. He contends that The Social Network was an ‘adaptation,’ and the Jobs movie will be, too.
“All I can say at this early stage in the game is that any time you’re at the movies and you see the words, ‘The following is a true story,’ you should think of it as a painting and not a photograph. You’re going to get an authorial point of view. There could probably be many movies of Steve Jobs–and there are. Ashton Kutcher is making one now.
5. Mr. Sorkin doesn’t know yet who will play Steve Jobs in his film.
“I don’t know, but they’re going to have to be a really good actor,” he said. “There are a lot of things that actors can fake, and intelligence is something that you can’t fake.”