Five Revelations to Expect in Sony’s Steve Jobs Movie

The book isn’t out and the man is still being mourned, but nothing can stop Hollywood from its business of moviemaking. Over the weekend, news leaked that Sony Pictures was nearing a seven figure deal to option Walter Isaacson’s upcoming biography, Steve Jobs, with the goal of bringing the Mac messiah’s life to the screen as soon as possible. On its own merits, a film about Jobs is a no-brainer — and hell, Noah Wyle has a ton of free time these days. Besides, both The Social Network and Moneyball proved that compelling films can come from narrative-challenged business stories. No, what’s curious isn’t the subject, it’s the studio: Sony.

Few companies have as large a digital axe to grind with Jobs than Sony — in a single decade, the Japanese giant went from industry leader in audio to an afterthought, all thanks to Steve and the incredible reach of his iTurtleneck. Will Sony use their cinematic cudgel to settle the score, once and for all? An early, potentially entirely made-up glance at early studio notes suggest that’s exactly what Sony is doing.

  • Jobs invents the iPod during an anger-fueled all-nighter after his not-smart-enough girlfriend (she went to UC Davis — as if!) leaves him for Nobutoshi Kihara, the devastingly handsome creator of the Walkman, and his identical twin brother.
  • Apple was only founded to get Jobs into Berkeley’s prestigious Computing Club (Perks included: unlimited mead parties and one member who was most likely a girl). But when co-founder Steve Wozniak is accepted instead of Jobs, a rift forms between the two underwashed geniuses.
  • The Jobs/Wozniak partnership is severed for good when Woz is dispatched to New York City (where his hirsute visage makes him popular in certain Chelsea nightclubs but not in the boardrooms of advertising agencies) leaving Jobs to fall under the charismatic wing of future Sony CEO Howard Stringer. Stringer dazzles Jobs by taking him to Doobie Brothers concerts and introducing him to models from the Moosewood Cookbook. Jobs later fondly recalls Stringer’s famous words: “A thousand dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? TEN THOUSAND dollars.”
  • The goal of the popular Photo Booth app wasn’t making it “possible to talk, smile and laugh” with anyone. It was to get hot undergrads to send Jobs pics of them using their Newtons in ways the good lord never intended.
  • The film ends with Steve Jobs alone. Alone in his multi-million dollar home, buoyed only by his immense fortune and the love and admiration of an entire grateful planet. But still alone. Maybe he’s watching TV or something? Yes. A TV would be good.

Filed Under: Moneyball, Movies, Steve Jobs, The Future

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Andy Greenwald is a staff writer for Grantland.

Archive @ andygreenwald