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With Aaron Sorkin still planning his own take on the life and work of Apple founder Steve Jobs, Ashton Kutcher's version of the story needs to get into theaters well ahead of it, to at least give itself a fighting chance of standing on its own. Now it's found the distributor that will get it there. Open Road Films has acquired the film jOBS for distribution, planning a release in April of this year as well as a slot as the Closing NIght film at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.
A brand-new distributor founded in 2011 by theater chain AMC, Open Road was behind two of the year's most under appreciated films, the Liam Neeson vs. wolves The Grey and the fall's cop drama End of Watch. Then again they're also behind the upcoming Marlon Wayans comedy A Haunted House, so their name isn't yet an automatic guarantee of quality. jOBS will certainly get the upstart distributor some attention, with the too bizarre to look away idea of Kutcher as the legendary tech giant, but it's hard to know yet if it will be for the quality of the film or the fame of its lead actor.
While the film Sorkin is writing will be based on Walter Isaacson's comprehensive biography, jOBS focuses on more the mogul's earlier year, and boasts of "unprecedented access during shooting to the historic garage in Palo Alto, that served as the birthplace to Apple Inc." Surely that garage had lots of stories to tell.
See the official synopsis for jOBS below, and stay tuned for our coverage of it from the Sundance Film Festival.
Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matthew Whitely, shot by Oscar- winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter and produced by Mark Hulme, jOBS details the major moments and defining characters that influenced Steve Jobs on a daily basis from 1971 through 2000. jOBS plunges into the depths of his character, creating an intense dialogue-driven story that is as much a sweeping epic as it is an immensely personal portrait of Steve Jobs' life. The filmmakers were granted unprecedented access during shooting to the historic garage in Palo Alto, that served as the birthplace to Apple Inc. jOBS stars Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine. Inferno Entertainment is handling international sales on jOBS.