What would Apple founder Steve Jobs think of the actor cast to portray him on film? Many are already weighing in on the announcement that "Two and a Half Men" star Ashton Kutcher has been cast to play the man who changed technology and media forever.
There are good arguments for casting Kutcher, whether it is the similarity in looks to the young Jobs, or the shared passion for technology. Sure, the former model's accomplishments are far from that of the man behind the iPod, but he is an actor on the forefront of the digital space. The kid from "That 70's Show" who went on to become a Hollywood powerhouse was one of the first celebrities to embrace Twitter. He has cultivated a following of over ten million and competed in -- and won -- a very public race to get to a million followers before news network CNN back in 2009. He is also an investor in social media site Foursquare, and plans to travel to space on Virgin Galactic's experimental commercial flight. A shared vision about digital media and innovation gives Kutcher an authentic connection to Jobs' work and passion.
While there is a similar love of technology and a keen eye towards the future, the man-child behind "Punk'd" lacks the maturity and grace of the cultural icon that was Steve Jobs. The glasses-wearing moderator of yearly Apple announcements had a calm and gentle demeanor that could not be further from Kutcher's energy. As the cancer that eventually took Jobs from the world last year ate away at his body, the man became thin and frail, quickly aging the young man who once resembled Kutcher or Keanu Reeves. For many, the only Jobs ever known was the elder one, making it difficult to picture the former Mr. Demi Moore as the man who brought us the iPad.
Casting the "Two and a Half Men" star allows the independent film about Jobs' life to explore his early days as a college dropout and rebellious inventor, but creates quite an obstacle when trying to capture his days as the leader in technology and innovation. Do the filmmakers opt for cumbersome makeup and bald caps in an attempt to age Kutcher, or find another actor to play the formidable man that Jobs became? The last years of Steve Jobs' life combines a compelling blend of redefining the world and struggling with a horrid disease. This chapter in his life was the most visible to the world, and requires a solid, mature performance from the likes of actors like Kevin Spacey or Ralph Fiennes.
No one can argue that shaggy-haired Ashton resembles Steve Jobs, circa 1977. But the dramatic story of the Apple visionary's life spans forty years of trials and tribulations, a journey which the guy from "Dude, Where's My Car?" may not be quite suited to take. If Steve Jobs were here today, he might be excited to see his youth recreated through Kutcher's performance, but might show concern at the portrayal of his later years as the greatest influence of the modern age.
What do you think of the casting news? Sound off below on your thoughts about this exciting Hollywood news and the film that is soon to be the first telling of Steve Jobs' revolutionary life.
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