By now, most of the world knows that Apple visionary Steve Jobs has passed away from his battle with pancreatic cancer. As is normally the case with such high-profile individuals as Jobs, people want to know their life story to commiserate with their struggles and celebrate their successes. So it comes as no surprise that the soon-to-be-published biography, Steve Jobs, has already sold its feature rights.
Sony Pictures has acquired the rights to the only authorized bio by Walter Isaacson, the former CNN chairman and Time Magazine managing editor. The hot commodity became even hotter with the news of Jobs’ death, moving its publication date up almost a month. This feature will mark the second movie chronicling Jobs’ rise, the first being The Pirates of Silicon Valley, which TNT re-aired recently. Hit the jump for more on the project.
News of the Sony Pictures acquisition comes by way of Deadline. Although Sony has not commented on the book deal, it appears the Mark Gordon (Saving Private Ryan) will produce along with Management 360. Remember that this is the same studio that produced the Oscar-nominated The Social Network, chronicling another social media mogul’s rise to power.
Originally titled “iSteve: The Book of Jobs,” Isaacson changed it to have a better chance of earning Jobs’ permission and cooperation. Isaacson, also a biographer of Ben Franklin and Henry Kissinger, was hand-chosen by Jobs out of a long list of suitors to capture his legacy during his battle with cancer. The 448-page biography took two years to complete and features over 40 interviews with the Apple co-founder himself. There are over 100 stories shared by friends and family, colleagues and competitors. Although Jobs reportedly kept most of his personal life close to the vest, he did allow Isaacson to accompany him to his childhood home. He also admitted to making some poor choices in life that he wasn’t proud of, but that had no skeletons in his closet.
The story of Jobs’ life is compelling enough, even without the punctuation of his untimely death. The man made a career out of following his curiosity and combining practicality with aesthetics, function with beauty. He revolutionized the computer, music and mobile industries. His humble beginnings and propensity to take the road less traveled are well documented. You can get your hands on the documentary when it’s released on October 24th. Below is the synopsis (via Amazon).
Based on more than forty interviews with Jobs conducted over two years—as well as interviews with more than a hundred family members, friends, adversaries, competitors, and colleagues—Walter Isaacson has written a riveting story of the roller-coaster life and searingly intense personality of a creative entrepreneur whose passion for perfection and ferocious drive revolutionized six industries: personal computers, animated movies, music, phones, tablet computing, and digital publishing.
At a time when America is seeking ways to sustain its innovative edge, and when societies around the world are trying to build digital-age economies, Jobs stands as the ultimate icon of inventiveness and applied imagination. He knew that the best way to create value in the twenty-first century was to connect creativity with technology. He built a company where leaps of the imagination were combined with remarkable feats of engineering.
Although Jobs cooperated with this book, he asked for no control over what was written nor even the right to read it before it was published. He put nothing off-limits. He encouraged the people he knew to speak honestly. And Jobs speaks candidly, sometimes brutally so, about the people he worked with and competed against. His friends, foes, and colleagues provide an unvarnished view of the passions, perfectionism, obsessions, artistry, devilry, and compulsion for control that shaped his approach to business and the innovative products that resulted.
Driven by demons, Jobs could drive those around him to fury and despair. But his personality and products were interrelated, just as Apple’s hardware and software tended to be, as if part of an integrated system. His tale is instructive and cautionary, filled with lessons about innovation, character, leadership, and values.