The roster for the upcoming Steve Jobs film starring Ashton Kutcher has picked its bad guy. That is to say, the man who ousted Jobs from Apple in 1985, John Sculley.
In a note sent to CNET and other outlets this afternoon, actor Matthew Modine’s agency announced he’d be playing Sculley in the film, which begins principal photography this month.
Jobs famously hired Sculley away from Pepsi-Cola to run Apple with the line, “Do you really want to sell sugar water, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” Sculley took him up on that offer and proceeded to run the company until he, too, was forced out in 1993.
The movie, titled “jOBS,” was announced last month and stars Ashton Kutcher as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs from 1971 through 2000. That bit of Jobs’ history includes the founding of Apple, as well as his ouster, the forming of NeXT and Pixar, then the return to the company when Apple acquired NeXT.
The project is not to be confused with a separate feature film, currently in development by Sony Pictures. Last month, Sony said it had signed on “The Social Network” and “The West Wing” writer Aaron Sorkin to pen that screenplay. The company had already secured the rights to Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography “Steve Jobs.” In an interview last week, Sorkin noted that he would not be writing the film chronologically.
In a statement, Modine compared what happened between Sculley and Jobs to the origin story of basketball star Michael Jordan:
“When [Michael Jordan] was playing high school basketball, he was kicked off the team. He was cut,” Modine said. “And had Michael Jordan not been cut, a lot of people believe he wouldn’t have found the aspiration and desire to show his coach that he was wrong and become the Michael Jordon who changes the game of basketball.”
Besides Modine and Kutcher, info on the rest of the cast remains scant. Actor Josh Gad will play Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, with “The Help” star Ahna O’Reilly reportedly playing Chris-Ann Brennan, Jobs’ girlfriend, and the mother of his daughter Lisa.
As a frame of reference, here’s the pic of Modine next to a shot of Sculley:
(Credit: Workhouse PR/CNET)
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