Hollywood is funny about its writers, the way they’re just part of the machinery under the hood. Everyone knows story matters. They know that hearing that a film just started shooting without a script or that a certain script has been passed around and rewritten by seventeen different people are sure fire evidence that a film is going to be terrible. And yet other than that certain breed of writer/directors like Whedon and Smith, who force us to pay attention because they sit in the special chair, we can hardly name any of them. Oh sure, there are the celebrity imports, when famous novelists get tapped to write certain screenplays in their wheelhouse, like when William Gibson wrote a script for Alien 3 that was never made. But those attempts rarely end up being the script used for the project in question, and there’s a niggling descriptor in the back of our minds that isn’t fair to the professional screenwriters. We’re thinking in the back of our head that a “real writer” was brought in.
All that is true except for Aaron Sorkin. Oh sure he dabbles in all that other stuff like show running, but what he’s really known for is his writing. And he lied to you Liz Lemon, because when you’re king, someone is always calling.
After crafting a screenplay that shifted “that movie about Facebook” into “one of the best films of the last few years”, Sorkin has gotten the notice of the anonymous suits. Yeah people that care about good story have always known his name, but how much of that demographic really overlaps with the people who run studios anyway?
So Sony is trying to make a Steve Jobs biopic. And that’s a different one from the Kutchner starring indie biography of the man. They paid a million bucks for the rights to the biography of Jobs written by Walter Isaacson, who between being former CEO of CNN also wrote biographies of Ben Franklin, Albert Einstein, and Henry Kissinger. And with that wikipedia search I’m suddenly more interested in Isaacson than Jobs, but then I’m a history nerd.