Steve Jobs makes for a fascinating movie character. He was proudly arrogant–his dickishness was matched only by his propensity for success–and his personal style was so iconic that basically anybody in a black turtleneck and round glasses looks like they’re trying to rip him off. Plus, like a quarter of the country has a product he invented in their pocket at all times. Those are things that are both relatively easy and very compelling to replicate on film, which probably explains why we’ve seen a spate of Jobs biopics since his death (plus one, 1999’s Pirates of Silicon Valley, made during his lifetime). But after Funny Or Die’s intentionally bad iSteve, and the unintentionally bad, Ashton Kutcher-led Jobs, all eyes are now on Universal’s Steve Jobs to tell the story of Apple’s founder in a way that truly captures the depth of the icon.
The film certainly has the pedigree–director Danny Boyle to writer Aaron Sorkin to stars Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet have twelve Academy Award nominations between them (and three statues), and supporting actors Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels each at least have a Golden Globes nomination to put in their bio. More to the point, Fassbender is the sort of actor who inhabits a role in ways that actors like Ashton Kutcher don’t, as the trailer makes clear–when Fassbender wears the turtleneck and glasses, he’s almost unrecognizable as anybody other than Steve Jobs–and the two and a half minute glimpse we get here is packed with the sort of petulant-but-brilliant Sorkin putdowns that earned him his Oscar for The Social Network. Combine that with a visual stylist and dramatic storyteller of Boyle’s caliber, and Steve Jobs looks like the biopic of the Apple founder that is likely to collect, come awards time. Boyle may have won his first Oscar for Slumdog Millionaire, but you know what’s cool? A slumdog billionaire–and collaborating with Sorkin might get both of them new trophies for their mantles.