Guess who's got two thumbs and may be playing Steve Jobs.
One of the advantages that Danny Boyle will have if he does indeed sign on to direct the Steve Job biopic that Sony is preparing to make is that he can look at "Jobs," the film released last year, and make sure not to repeat any of that movie's creepy tone-deaf mistakes.
It helps, of course, that Aaron Sorkin is writing the film. In the genuinely weird Ashton Kutcher movie, there are no less than two scenes that treat product reveals as major triumphs of the human spirit. If Sorkin was able to expertly chart the way the various relationship dynamics in "The Social Network" shifted and evolved, then I'm confident he'll be able to turn Jobs, Wozniak, and the other strong personalities in the film into equally memorable and authentic characters. Water Isaacson's book walked a tricky line between the typical authorized mythmaking that happens with autobiographies or officially sanctioned biographies and the tell-all end of the business. It's a sympathetic but not saintly portrait of a guy who sounds like he was incredibly complicated as a human being and undeniably brilliant as a businessman.
I'm still not sure I'm exactly excited to see another Steve Jobs movie. and not this close to his death. Perspective can be a good thing when telling someone's life story, and while I would normally say I don't think enough time has passed yet, Sorkin and producer Scott Rudin handled the Facebook story really well, and that had just happened. The problem for me is that I'm not sure how much there is for the film to say that hasn't clearly and powerfully already been said.
Leonardo DiCaprio must think there's something to it, as he's reportedly now circling the role. The difference between a Danny Boyle/Leonardo DiCaprio version and a David Fincher/Christian Bale version seems pretty vast, and it just goes to show you how different a director and an actor can make something. DiCaprio's built his recent career out of playing these people who are hyper-focused on one thing, to the exclusion of almost everything else, and it's amazing how much variation he's wrung out of playing what is fundamentally a similar character type. I'm not sure what the Bale version of Steve Jobs looks like, but I'd be really afraid to see what he did to show the weight loss during the end of his life.
These deals aren't done yet, and everyone's rush to report the Fincher story turned out to be premature. But I'd be interested to see another collaboration between DiCaprio and Boyle, and if this turns out to be it, that alone is enough to elevate this. I can't help that most biopics bore me silly, but this creative team balances that out and then some.
Amazingly, neither Boyle nor DiCaprio have anything currently pending release. How is that possible?