Ashton Kutcher's star image couldn't be more different than Steve Jobs' persona. But the resemblance between a young Jobs and Kutcher is striking, which is perhaps why the "70's Show" and "Two and a Half Men" actor was cast in the indie biopic centering on the founder of Apple.
Besides Kutcher, the names don't have much prominence in the industry. Director Joshua Michael Stern has mostly worked in TV movies. I don't see any IMDB credits for writer Matt Whitely. Plus, the movie is being produced by Mark Hulme of the Five Star Institute, a mortgage company that is apparently branching out into film. Newbie producers and financers often get run over when they try to conquer Hollywood.
The indie is going the small and nimble route, with plans to film in May, once Kutcher is on hiatus from "Two and a Half Men." Meanwhile, Sony actually optioned rights to the authorized biography of Jobs by Walter Isaacson, which was published shortly after his death and became a bestseller.
The first film to release isn't always the best. These days, there are plenty of high-profile stars who end up in indies that languish at festivals or end up getting a theatrical run that's so short, it's basically straight-to-Netflix. Kutcher's ex, Demi Moore, was in one such (not so bad) film, The Joneses, herself not so long ago. Whenever I see these kinds of films as I browse through "Watch Instantly," I wonder how many people are fooled by the star into thinking this was some big-budget release they somehow missed.
This Steve Jobs biopic has a couple strikes against it, since it doesn't have the source material of the authorized bio (which has a few choice tidbits unlikely to be found anywhere else) and an inexperienced crew. Think of what a difference it made to have a script by Aaron Sorkin and direction from David Fincher in the Mark Zuckerberg-centered film The Social Network, a Sony production. No offense to Ashton Kutcher, but I may end up holding out for the Sony version.