Battle of the Steve Jobs Movies

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The real-life Steve Jobs with the real-life Ross Perot -- who may or may not be a character in either or both of these movies -- in 1987

Right now, if you want to watch a fictionalized version of the story of Steve Jobs, you have one option: the so-so 1999 teleflick Pirates of Silicon Valley, with Noah Wyle as Apple’s cofounder. Before too long, though, there will be two fresh new choices: an independent biopic from Five Star Features and one from Sony that’s based on Walter Isaacson’s bestselling authorized biography.

And now Sony has got its wish: The company has signed up screenwriting superstar Aaron Sorkin to write its screenplay. Sorkin, of course, has plenty of experience writing about Silicon Valley tech legends, having already tackled Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. And his famously snappy patter should be a good fit for the quick-witted, tart-tongued Jobs.

Meanwhile, the indie film has a head start production-wise, and it snagged a big star in Ashton Kutcher to play the title role. (I’m trying to keep my mind open about that casting, although the first photos of him in costume, as published on TMZ, have me a tad worried.)

Herewith, a comparison of the two movies. (There’s a lot we don’t yet know, especially about Sony’s effort.)

Jobs Movies

More details will presumably emerge about both epics before they hit theaters. For the moment, the big question is obvious: Who’s going to play Jobs in the Sorkin movie? I still think that Keanu Reeves would make a swell Steve, although at 47, he’s probably too, um, mature for the role.


In hindsight it is clear what the motivation was for these 2 movies.  The second movie was designed to promote baby boomer interests.  The same screenwriter who gave Mark the treatment given to Jobs by the first Jobs movie tries to cast Jobs in an unimpeachable light - an obvious double standard.  The Stern movie illuminates the hypocrisy of baby boomer politics.  They call millennials the me generation because we upload pictures of ourselves for our friends and family to see.  We call them the narcissistic sociopath generation because they ruined the middle class, sent us to wars just like the ones they protested in youth, use every measure of bs and social manipulation to de-emphasize their lack of technical skills, exported all of our jobs to China/India, were taught by their popular media to never admit they were wrong or let the other person speak in conversation etc etc

The first movie lets Jobs have his social manipulation skills and even implies they might hold some value.  But it see's Jobs for what he was, and the Boomer ego can't let that stand.  I'll take the Stern version every time.


For the second Steve Jobs movie, my vote goes to Jim Sturgess.  I always thought he could pull off a better Jobs than Kutcher.