In an exclusive that many guessed (and hoped) was an April Fool’s Joke, Variety reported yesterday that Two and a Half Men goofball Ashton Kutcher has signed on to play Apple guru Steve Jobs in the upcoming biopic, Jobs. While Kutcher, a former model, is perhaps still best-known for his role as the dense Michael Kelso on That ’70s Show, the star is no stranger to technology, acting as an investor in a number of online start-up ventures through his A-Grade Fund. He is also a well-known early adopter, famously the first person to gather one million followers on Twitter back in 2009.
Despite these apparent real-life parallels, however, Kutcher is still a questionable prospect to play the genius innovator. The actor is well-established as a bankable star in sitcoms and romantic comedies, but he has yet to demonstrate an ability to capture the sort of intensity and forcefulness that were Jobs’ M.O. Jobs is set to be directed by Swing Vote‘s Joshua Michael Stern, with a script by Matt Whiteley, and will focus on the years from Jobs’ youth as a hippie through the founding of Apple.
Questionable casting aside, Jobs is also not the Jobs biopic most people are anxiously awaiting. A small independent project, the film will focus on Jobs’ early days as a maverick inventor, and will be facing off against the Jobs film currently in development at Sony Pictures, which has the distinct and sizable advantage of being an adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s blockbuster biography from last year. The rumor is that ace screenwriter Aaron Sorkin is in talks with the studio to pen the script. If Kutcher hurries, he might beat Sony to the punch, but odds are in the studio’s favor that it will have the final say on the story of Steve Jobs.