Too Soon? Sony Pictures Acquires Rights to Steve Jobs Biopic

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The dust has barely settled on the passing one of the world’s most influential figures, and word is that the film industry is already sniffing around a soon to be released book on Jobs.

It’s hard to put up much resistance at the news that Sony Pictures is set on adapting the (not yet published) authorized biography of Steve Jobs. Quite simply called Steve Jobs, it’s written by former TIME managing editor Walter Issacson (who also contributed to TIME’s commemorative issue on Jobs), with the publisher Simon & Schuster bringing the book out on October 24, as it’s been brought forward from its original release date.

As for the source text, it’s a hefty 448-page profile of the Apple co-founder, based on over 40 interviews with Jobs and more than 100 conversations with his friends, family members, colleagues and competitors.

(LIST: The World Reacts to Steve Jobs’ Death)

And it’s easy enough to see why Hollywood would come calling: it doesn’t get much more compelling than the biopic of a man driven by ambition, but also the sense that he wanted to make the world a more accessible place. Throw into the plot those elements of building up a technology company and launching some of the most iconic gadgets and devices that we’ve ever seen, add in some personal relationships, and mix with a smattering of famous rivals, and you’ve got yourself The Social Network (well, they’ll need to change the title, but it’s clear there’s a ready-made audience).

Naturally, we’re forced to ask the $64,000 question: who should play Jobs? Up until now, there’s not been much in the way of competition.  Shown on TNT in 1999 (so you couldn’t even watch it on an iPod), Pirates Of Silicon Valley, which was based on the book Fire In The Valley: The Making of The Personal Computer, was a fairly lighthearted docudrama about Jobs and Microsoft’s Bill Gates. Anthony Michael Hall played Gates but Noah Wyle (probably best known from ER) portrayed Jobs, with it being remarked that he got the all important thumbs up from Jobs himself. Indeed, during the Macworld conference that year, Jobs had Wyle come out dressed like him to start a keynote address.

Wyle starts off as favorite because of his resume but competition could be fierce. Some have remarked that the likes of Ashton Kutcher and Joseph Gordon-Levitt bear more than a passing resemblance to Jobs in his earlier years, as does Michael Ian Black, though he’s not nearly as big a name. But considering what the wonders of make up and CGI can do, would filmmakers be keen to get a man who has recently played someone with similar traits in the form of Mark Zuckerberg? If so, step forward, Jesse Eisenberg. (via Deadline Hollywood)

LIST: Steve Jobs, from TIME’s Archives

Glen Levy is an Executive Producer at TIME. Find him on Twitter at @glenjl. You can also continue the discussion on TIME’s Facebook page and on Twitter at @TIME.

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