back to article Which actor should play Steve in upcoming biopic?

After this week's announcement that the late Steve Jobs will be remembered through a Hollywood biopic, the obvious question facing Sony Pictures is… which actor gets the nod for the lead role? The film rights to Walter Isaacson's biography, due to be published later this month, was snapped up by Sony Pictures for a healthy sum …


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  1. DPWDC

    For "the bloke who oversaw the iPod generation."

    James Cromwell?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Ian McShane

      Admittedly, he doesn't look anything like him, but after seeing his performance as Al Swearengen in deadwood I think he'd be perfect at playing shouty Steve.

  2. Madboater

    Ricky Gervais

    End of line.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      "Ricky Gervais"

      I find your lack faith (in the cult of Jobs) disturbing.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Christopher Eccleston?

    only if they want to re-imagine the Apple story in Manchester with lots of gurning, surely?

  4. LuMan

    Jobbing Actors Required

    Well, seeing as this is a Hollywood flick, historical accuracy will be somewhere in the car park (or 'parking lot', as our cousins over the pond would say) so, with this in mind, I think Jackie Chan should play the young Jobs, striving to make a name in a strange land after being stolen from a Triad-controlled Chinese workhouse, and then Ving Rhames to play an older Jobs who takes on the might of Nasty Rival Company (with a despotic, evil, bastard of a boss - played by a Brit, probably) through the use of guile, sex appeal and bloody big guns and explosions.

    The plot will write itself, of course.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up


      You have a promising career as a studio executive ahead of you.

      I already want to book tickets for this.

      And casting the head of "Nasty Rival Company " as a Brit will be hailed as a stroke of genius (by Merkins everywhere).

  5. Doogie Howser MD

    Count Eccleston Out

    By his insistence on using his Salford accent for all roles (not that there's anything wrong with that mind). Can you imagine him at the Apple keynote saying "To get your tunes, you have to use t'clickwheel"?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @Doogie Howser MD

      "Count Eccleston Out → #"

      But he did such a bang up job on GI Joe, granted as the head of a multinational arms conglomerate.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Bernie Eccleston?

  6. Patrick O'Reilly

    +1 Noah Wyle

    He did a good Job(s) first time round.

  7. jake Silver badge

    Who should play Jobs?

    How about Guy Kawasaki? Would be fitting.

    Somewhere, Steve's spinning ...

  8. Phil Riley

    Christopher Eccleston

    Lots of CEOs are from the north...

  9. Jim Carter

    I'm probably going to get flamed for this...

    But how about Ian McDiarmid for the older version?

    1. Paul Dixon 1
      Thumb Up

      Ian McDiarmid

      Great suggestion!

      Shenzhen factory worker: "The emperor is coming here? We shall double our efforts!"

    2. hplasm

      Peter Cushing?

      or Christopher Lee for the live Steve?

  10. Robert E A Harvey


    Please, no. What on earth would be the point?

  11. Rob Kendrick

    Tim Robbins, as he's already played a Steve Jobs/Bill Gates chimea:

  12. Mint Sauce

    How about

    Paris Hilton? I hear she's very versatile..

    1. Josco

      Oh yes

      There's a film I would go to see.

      Would there be a homage to the 'butter scene' in Last Tango In Paris?

    2. GitMeMyShootinIrons

      I believe...

      ..the word you're after is 'flexible', rather than 'versatile'. However, I'm sure that if there's a hole to be filled, Paris will probably be involved....

  13. GeorgeTuk

    Too soon.

    Like the 9/11 film with Nicholas Cage.

    Not EVERYTHING has to be a film either.

  14. Smallbrainfield

    Jason Statham

    He can have a bare knuckle fight with Microsoft stooges in a warehouse and use his shirt as a weapon. Bill Gates to be played by Alan Rickman.

    1. BorkedAgain
      Thumb Up

      ...use his poloneck as a weapon...

      There, fixed that for you.

    2. Ru

      Alan Rickman?

      I'd say he's more of a Larry Ellison than a Bill Gates.

  15. I understand now

    Samuel L Jackson.

    1. amanfromearth


      And Brian Blessed as the Woz

  16. Graham Bartlett

    Mark Strong

    Just saw "Revolver" again the other night. Mark Strong (plays Sorter in "Revolver") would be perfect.

    1. Chris 3


      He was also eremarkably good as Septimus in Stardust.

  17. Marvin the Martian
    Paris Hilton

    Malcolm Tucker would be epic.

    Hmm... Allan Rickman we can settle for.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'I'm Not There'

    In that movie, '...six characters embody a different aspect of the musician's life and work'. (IMDB).


    Paz de la Huerta is 'gratuitously naked female Steve Jobs';

    Jean Reno personifies Steve's stubble;

    R2D2 plays Steve in any scenes with Jonathan Ives;

    Young Steve is rendered by Pixar;

    Ben Kingsley is Spiritaul Steve;

    And (for general comedic mirthiness), Steve Ballmer , in Chicago-style-fishnet turtle-neck, tap- dances and sings the introduction of the iPhone, in a big musical number, backed by the cast of Glee.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up


      "Paz de la Huerta is 'gratuitously naked female Steve Jobs';

      Jean Reno personifies Steve's stubble;

      R2D2 plays Steve in any scenes with Jonathan Ives;

      Young Steve is rendered by Pixar;

      Ben Kingsley is Spiritaul Steve;"

      It's got Oscar written all over it (and it's not a Newton recognition failure either).

      1. cortezcortez

        Jonathan Ives? Who?

        There's no way Ives will be in the film. Jobs was responsible for EVERY SINGLE DETAIL of EVERY SINGLE APPLE PRODUCT, remember.

  19. Andy Farley

    It's got to be.

    The Rock.

    But it'll probably be Tom Hanks for iPod Steve.

  20. KilterUberGeek


    Alan Rickman or Gary Oldman... they play the bad guy better than any other.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      No way me hearties

      The bad guy *has* to be Bill Nighy

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rob Shnider

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Christian Slater.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      "Christian Slater."

      Slater has done a good line in psychos over the years, from Heathers to Best Laid Plans.

      Not commenting Jobby's mental state, just Slaters resume.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rob Schneider

    Rob Schneider - White Clicks

  24. cliveski

    How about...

    Simon Pegg or David Tennant?

    Oh, OK then....Johnny Depp :-)

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    actor gets the nod for the lead role?


  26. ScioScio
    IT Angle

    Obvious, really.

    The same guy who played Jesus Christ in the Passion. He already has the required range

  27. Turtle_Fan

    So, I'm the only one who thinks it should be someone completely unknown...

    Casting too big a star would detract from the essence of the biopic UNLESS most commentards' view is that the film should be a right farce (which i completely understand)

  28. Simon Cresswell


    As so many fanbois thought Steve was the second coming anyway.

    Agree with previous posers though - it's too soon...

  29. Platelet

    Mel Gibson

    Who else could portray the passion of Jobs?

  30. Wyrdness

    Mat Baynton - Just watch his amazing performance as a Roman Steve Jobs in the 'aBook' sketch from Horrible Histories and you'll see why. You should be able to find it on YouTube.

  31. Cornholio


    Montgomery Burns?

  32. nichomach


    ...for Mark Strong, but casting Wyle again wouldn't be a bad move.

  33. Bunker_Monkey

    What about......

    Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Ben Stiller, Charlie Sheen as a middle aged Steve

    Daniel 'Harry Potter' Ratcliffe as a younger Steve.. Directed by Michael Bay, produced by Spielberg.

    Mines the one with the lame-ass Hollywood script (cause we aint got no new ideas) in the pocket.

  34. Richard 116


    'Nuff said.

    Move along now. Nothing to see here.

  35. BorkedAgain


    Animate the thing. In 3D. Tom Hanks to do the voice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Bit late for that

      As Sony got the rights, although 2 movies about Steve Jobs would give The Register a lot more to write about

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Brandon Routh and John Malkovich. Not that I actually care.

  37. Jon Double Nice





  38. OzBob

    Surely Pixar can do some magic to ressurect Steve?

    Now that would be a tribute.

    Deus ex machina!

  39. cliveski

    I know....

    Woody Allen!

    1. Armando 123

      Woody Allen? Only if Steve shot a moose once. He put tied it to the hood of the car, and was driving home.

      [Great, now I need to listen to that old Moose bit again.]

      And there's law in New York about driving through the Holland Tunnel with a live moose strapped to your car on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and alternate Saturdays ...

  40. Jedit Silver badge

    There can be only one choice

    Jobs was a major control freak who dressed in black all the time, took centre stage at huge rallies of rabidly fanatic followers who practically deified him, tried to conquer the world (and failed), and died aged 56. Last time they needed someone to play someone with those characteristics, Bruno Ganz knocked it out of the park.

    (NB: all similarities are cosmetic. Jobs didn't improve the world by dying, for starters.)

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge


      "Last time they needed someone to play someone with those characteristics, Bruno Ganz knocked it out of the park."

      Awesome. He also speaks English..

    2. amanfromearth

      Colour blind?

      Hitler wore brown, not black

  41. GatesFanbois

    How about richard stallman or steve ballmer

  42. Cunningly Linguistic

    Pee Wee Herman?

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    For hippie who started Apple: Richard Stallman

    iPod bloke: Andy Rubin

    Both have excellent acting skills.

    1. Dana W

      Pass the Forklift.

      Have you had a good look at Stallman recently? He would have to play 4-5 Steve Jobs!

  44. Steen Hive
    Thumb Up

    No brainer

    Meg Ryan.

  45. General Pance
    Thumb Up

    Bill Gates

    How funny would that be?

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bollywood style

    Aamir Khan, loads of dancing...would be hilarious.

  47. TheOtherHobbbes


    Chuck Norris, surely?

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gary Coleman (young) Tilda Swinton (old)

    Or even the other way round.

    6 months time it will be, "Steve Who ?" And it will find itself in development hell.

  49. Najeebster

    Matt Damon

    Matt Damon - How do you them Apples?

  50. Andus McCoatover

    Hugh Laurie would be my choice.

    Quite a likeness. Plus, the attitude of the character he has learned in his rôle in "House" ...

  51. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jim Caviezel

    Jim Caviezel as older Steve

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If he could get to the correct weight...

    ...Harold Ramis as the old Steve Jobs.

    And probably just shave him for the younger version ;0)

  53. Dave Murray

    Trey Parker

    He did a great job as Jobs in that documentary about Apple, HUMANCENTiPAD.

  54. Turtle

    Needless effort.

    From what I have been reading lately, it is plainly apparent that there is no need to choose anyone: Jobs will play himself, because he will be rising from the dead any day now. . .

  55. Snow Hill Island

    Surely there's only one thespian who has all the passion required to do the Jobs properly...

    Stephen Fry!

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Thumb Up

      @Snow Hill Island

      "who has all the passion required to do the Jobs properly...

      Stephen Fry!"

      Elegant. Neat. Simple.

    2. Armando 123

      With Allen Davis as Wozniak?

  56. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will the film touch on...

    ...the inhuman working conditions that Apple makes use of?

    Still, what's a few dead so long as the fanbois can have the latest shiny, eh?

    I realise that Apple is not alone in this, but moral equivalence is not an excuse.

  57. The Dark Lord

    In Pixar's back catalogue...

    ... you see that they have already committed Steve Job's bio to silicon celluloid.

    He is, of course...


    Rejected in the youth of his career by his closest ally, then comes back all natty-dressed and laden with shiny gadgets. And quite evil & shouty with it.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      @The Dark Lord

      Do you want him voiced by Jason Lee (My Name is Earl) as well?

  58. Jim 59

    Stephen Fry

    he does a great american accent, honestly

    1. Tony Smith, Editor, Reg Hardware (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Stephen Fry

      At least Fry would pronounce 'jaguar' correctly...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        As in -


      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        RE: Re: Stephen Fry

        That might be so, but I bet he still couldn't get a Newton to understand his handwriting.

  59. Hooch181

    I know...

    Ian McDiarmid!

  60. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looking at the photo of him on the Reg home page..

    ..I would have to suggest the woman who plays the geek in The Big Bang Theory.

  61. Nerf Herder

    I'm a Mac ...

    ... and Justin Long would be ideal for the young Jobs. (He was also in Die Hard 4 for those with short memories).

  62. S Watts

    film title?

    Somebody *must* have suggested "iJobs"...

  63. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Who cares? I'm sick of hearing about Jobs now, we've done the obits, we've done the death certificate, can we PLEASE get on with the rest of our lives without even more Jobsian naval gazing?

  64. Absent

    Ashton Kutcher is currently the spit of 70s Steve Jobs.

  65. Doug Glass

    The Big Bang Theory

    Jim Parsons aka Sheldon

  66. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Given the good job they did on Oliver Reed in gladiator.

    Jobs playing Jobs *might* not be too difficult.

    Not sure about the dialogue.

    Although using motion capture Polar Express style (and the new Tin tin movie) tends to give a much creepier effect. A sense of not-quite-rightness which has a certain appeal.

    It could be "The Social Network" of 2011.

    Although I suspect it will be more like Transformers 3.

    1. Andus McCoatover

      Jobs playing Jobs *might* not be too difficult.

      Anyone remember the Bruce Lee film, shot after/during when he died?

      A villain came in to the dressing room and gave a karate kick.

      Actor almost fell from behind the cardboard cutout.

      Comical, if hewasn't one of my faveourite performers in the 70's.

  67. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    regarding Noah Wyle ...

    He *does* looks scarily like the young original in the article photo here, but he's probably too old to be convincing as the younger Jobs now. He'd be perfect for the NeXt era Steve, though.

  68. DaemonProcess


    I am for Joaquin Phoenix (moody Johny Cash meets scheming infantile Comodus).

    Guess I'm not such a fan after all. Its probably because of the patent wars.

  69. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Christian Bale

    Not too far off in looks and well known for managing to lose weight for a film - see the Machinist

  70. Nick Galloway

    Heath Ledger

    They both have something in common...

  71. John I'm only dancing

    Kevin Smith should direct ...

    ...Brian O'Halloran who played Dante in Clerks.

  72. Mr Tumnus

    Moira Stewart.

  73. Rob Beard

    Noah Wyle

    Personally I think Noah Wyle should do the job. In an interview I read, Noah said that he was even told by Steve Jobs himself that he thought he was good in the Pirates of Silicon Valley (although I gather Steve didn't like the script from what I read in the interview). I also understand that Noah went on Stage as Steve in an Apple keynote (although I haven't seen the video of it yet due to Youtube being blocked at work).

    Heck, get all the original actors in from Pirates of Silicon Valley to do the job. :-)

    (Oh and if they want an 'old Steve' looking actor, I've read on TechEye that there is an actor who was in some Chinese adverts who looks pretty similar to Steve Jobs).


  74. geekclick

    Hmmm you would need 3 actors really....

    For naive Steve; Ashton Kutcher

    For fat 90's Steve; Jason Alexander

    For the cult of Steve; Elliot Carver

    N.B if these castings happen I will sue the ass of Sony :)

  75. F111F

    Tom Hanks

    For the older Steve Jobs...

  76. Stevie


    The answer is simple: Have Pixar make a digital Steve and do his part entirely in CGI.

    No need for "actors" at all. Also, there must be enough archival soundbitey bits from the Madman Across the Water around to glean the entire dialog for this dog of a film without paying Seth Rogen to voice it.

    1. Darren Barratt

      "The answer is simple: Have Pixar make a digital Steve and do his part entirely in CGI."

      But that's how the original one was made. Why do you think he was always wearing the same outfit?

  77. Darren Barratt

    Tilda Swinton.

  78. Steve Evans

    No idea...

    No idea who should play Jobs, but if this is a Hollywood piece, whoever plays Bill Gates will be English.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...rhymes with myopic ?

  80. joejack

    "The distance between insanity and genius is measured only by success, Mr Bond"

    +1 for Justin Long as hippie Steve

    Noah Wyle as older Steve, because no one has ever seen Pirates of Silicon Valley. So much better than the Social Network. Heck, just pick up where that movie left off and call it Part 2!

    Also wouldn't mind Christian Bale, or Jonathon Pryce with some anti-wrinkle cream.

  81. john devoy

    Why not have noah play the older jobs this time? he played the part well in the first film.

  82. cortezcortez

    Basically the same guy...

    ...L Ron Hubbard.

    Oh damn it, that's right.

  83. cortezcortez


    Who will play the Xerox PARC guys who showed a young and up-and-coming tech industry dude round the office in the 1970s.......?

  84. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Me me me

    I look kinda Steve Jobs circa 1990, I know computers, I'm egotistical... the California account could be tough though :)

  85. Andus McCoatover

    OK, if not Hugh Laurie,,

    Jonathan Pryce has a very similar jaw shape, but maybe now too old-looking. As a previous poster remarked, may need 2 actors. One from the 'Pirates of Silicon Valley' days, (Maybe Johnny Depp?) and Pryce for the later stuff.

  86. Brian Allan

    Steve Jobs?

    How about the fellow that plays the awesome MS guy in the Apple commercials?

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