Comedian-actor-prankster Ashton Kutcher has been slated to play Apple CEO Steve Jobs in an upcoming indie film, TheWrap revealed Monday. Production is slated to start in May after Kutcher’s show “Two and a Half Men” goes on hiatus.
The film “will chronicle Steve Jobs from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple, where he became one of the most revered creative entrepreneurs of our time,” Variety reports.
Kutcher is famous (or infamous) for the MTV show “Punk’d,” which documented celebrities getting pranked by Kutcher and his band of merry helpers. The ex-model had already gained a cult following after the 2000 release of “Dude Where’s My Car?”, in which he plays an absent-minded oaf alongside Sean William Scott. Just last May, Kutcher replaced Charlie Sheen in the hit comedy series “Two and a Half Men,” bringing him back under the spotlight.
Initially, the choice of Kutcher for the role of Steve Jobs seems surprising, considering his resumé. But while this might be an elaborate April Fools joke – TheWrap published the breaking news on April 1, but several outlets have corroborated the report – it’s not too far fetched, given the list of actors that have played business tycoons before.
Justin Timberlake was applauded for his role in David Fincher’s “The Social Network” as Napster founder Sean Parker. (The real Sean Parker said the film was “a complete work of fiction” at a 2011 conference in Munich.) Although Timberlake has appeared in a number of films following “The Social Network,” he rose to fame as the leader of boy band ‘N Sync and was a surprise choice for the part of Parker.
Leonardo DiCaprio, renowned for playing Jack Dawson in one of the biggest blockbusters of all time, “Titanic,” traded romanticism for delusional paranoia in Martin Scorsese’s “The Aviator.” DiCaprio’s acting chops have rarely been called into question, but some wondered if he’d be able to ditch the boyish charm in this unflattering portrait of the obsessive-compulsive millionaire Howard Hughes.
And in 1999 – when Apple began to regain its previous relevance with a line of candy-colored iMacs – the made-for-TV movie “Pirates of Silicon Valley” starred Noah Wyle as Mr. Jobs. (Directed by Martyn Burke, the movie highlights the relationship between Apple co-founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak and their rivalry with Microsoft founder Bill Gates.) Wyle is famous for joining “ER” from 1994 to 2009 as Dr. John Carter, one of the most compassionate and empathetic characters on the show. This was a far cry from the Jobs role, which required Wyle to play – well – a brilliant jerk.
Considering the long list of actors who surpassed audience’s expectations, it’s possible that Kutcher might not be a bad choice for Jobs’ latest biopic. But there’s always the possibility that we’re going to get “Punk’d.”