Sony Pictures has struck a deal to tell the story of Steve Jobs, based on the authorized biography by Walter Isaacson.
Deadline reports the deal is $1 million against $3 million, a massive acquisition cost for a biopic. The eventual biopic will be only the second movie about Jobs’ rise to technological titan, though I imagine it will be infinitely more accurate than 1999′s TV-movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, in which Noah Wyle starred as Jobs.
Let the speculation begin on who Sony will cast for this narrative feature. I’d imagine a conversation will be had with Aaron Sorkin to adapt the novel, since he had a hand in both of the studio’s recent biopic hits: The Social Network and Moneyball. (Sorkin recently recounted a story in the Daily Beast about how he was asked to write a movie for Pixar.)
Isaacson, a former managing editor of Time Magazine and CEO of CNN, has been working on the biography since 2009, including over forty interviews with the former Apple CEO and over a hundred conversations with close personal family and friends. This is the first account of his life with Jobs’ participation, a candid “no limits” look at his pivotal role in the proliferation of personal computers, his part in the creation of Pixar, and his shepherding of such forward-thinking products as the iPod, iPhone, and iPad.
Jobs had rejected other requests to tell his life story before settling on Isaacson. Towards the end, Jobs admitted the reason for his change of heart. ”I wanted my kids to know me. I wasn’t always there for them, and I wanted them to know why and to understand what I did.”
The biography also includes the backstory behind Jobs’ signature black turtleneck and jeans, which he wore to each highly-anticipated unveiling over the years. In an early excerpt (published at Gawker), Jobs describes how a trip to Japan to visit with Sony chairman Akio Morita sparked a sense of personal style and uniformity. So he commissioned designer Issey Miyake to make black turtlenecks he liked, and stacked his closet with hundreds.
The book, once titled “iSteve: The Book of Jobs” and now simply called titled “Steve Jobs,” has been bumped up to an October 24 shelf date in the wake of the tech icon’s death. Since Amazon opened the floodgates for pre-orders in June, the unfinished book has risen to the top of the bestseller list numerous times. It currently sits at number one.
Jobs died on October 5 at the age of 56 due to respiratory arrest, a complication from a metastatic pancreatic tumor.