Online comedy site Funny or Die
will become the first to have a full-length Steve Jobs movie
hit the mainstream market, when they debut their own parody film of Jobs' life, called iSteve
, on April 15. The Funny or Die film, intended to poke fun at the competing bioflicks of Jobs -- the completed-but-delayed Jobs
starring Ashton Kutcher and the big-budget Sony Pictures effort being written by Aaron Sorkin
(The Social Network
) -- stars Justin Long, who played "the Mac" in Apple's "Mac vs. PC" ads.
The completed film will be over an hour in running time, making it the most ambitious and longest project the comedy site has attempted thus far. The movie was born from discussions of making a fake "Steve Jobs movie" trailer, which is more in keeping with the site's usual sort of project. Producer Allison Hord said that the joke "just kind of escalated" into a full-on feature, but that the tone of the movie was not intended to demean or make light of Jobs' contributions or death. She said that "even the harshest fanboy critics will be able to laugh at us," echoing writer/director Ryan Perez's comment that the film "is very silly, but it looks at his whole life," reports The New York Times
In addition to Long, the film stars Jorge Garcia as Steve Wozniak, with James Urbaniak and Michaela Watkins as Bill and Melinda Gates. As if to underscore the unserious nature of the film, Perez told the Times
that he wrote the script in three days, and the movie completed principle photography in five days. "We might not be the best," he said, "but we will be the first."
The online-only movie will debut on April 15, just four days before what had been planned to be the mainstream theatrical premiere of the independent biopic Jobs
(formerly titled jOBS
) which will star Ashton Kutcher and Josh Gad as Jobs and Wozniak. That film was screened at the Sundance Film Festival to mixed notices, but Kutcher did win some praise for his performance -- which in addition to his remarkable likeness to Jobs may boost the film's chances. However, the theatrical debut was delayed by the film's distributor, saying it had not had enough time to build an effective marketing campaign. No new release date has been announced.
The Sony film, which will be adapted from Walter Isaacson's biography, is not expected for quite some time and is currently only in pre-production. Steve Wozniak has been hired as a advisor
on that film, filling in background on the early days of Apple that will presumably be used to bolster historical accuracy.