It’s a reasonable question because how many hours can you really spend on a guy screaming to his subordinates about getting the exact right shade of the color white? But there’s two Steve Jobs biopics coming up, because you can never have too many movies about a famous guy who just died. According to Aaron Sorkin, who is more qualified to pick up awards than he is to write scripts about anything involving technology, that’s okay because there’s room for multiple Steve Jobs movies.
“Steve Jobs is a big enough person, big enough life that there’s room for more than one movie.”
Maybe it can even be a trilogy. Or a miniseries. Maybe we can build a Steve Jobs museum on the moon.
According to Sorkin, Steve Jobs is just like the Beatles or something. But give the man his age. Back then everything important was compared to the Beatles. When JFK was assassinated, when man landed on the moon and when that stupid movie about Facebook got a bunch of awards, it was all just exactly like the Beatles.
You know who else couldn’t be kept down in one movie? Bob Dylan, who had to be played by Richard Gere, Cate Blanchett, a little black kid, also Heath Ledger and Christian Bale. As an eternal reminder of why this is a bad idea, here’s the trailer for “I’m Not There.”
The only difference between this and whatever Sorkin and his rivals will churn out to commemorate Steve Jobs is that at least “I’m Not There” is almost self-aware enough to know how ridiculous it is. That’s a level of self-awareness that Sorkin could not even begin to aspire to.
Pull back from all the hoopla over Jobs death and ask yourself whether Jobs would be getting a fraction of this attention if he had done everything he did in our universe until 1997, when Apple’s troubles allowed him to waltz back and the music industry and Microsoft’s incompetence allowed him to build a hardware business on an easy way to buy songs and some flashy interfaces? No, no and no.
Jobs pre-1997 would have been kindly remembered as a “pioneer” accompanied by Mac photos, the way Wozniak will be one day. Steve Jobs post-1997 is remembered for being successful. Not for being a genius.
An honest movie would pick up in 1997. It would focus less on his genius and more on the way that the incompetence of established industries creates openings for insurgents to revolutionize industries by exploiting opportunities. But instead we’ll get an actor delivering rapid fire dialogue while screaming about product demos and refusing to return calls from his family.
Does anyone actually need that?