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Quick Takes: Aaron Sorkin to take on Steve Jobs

May 17, 2012

Aaron Sorkin once declined an offer from Steve Jobs to write a movie for animation house Pixar, saying he couldn't pen dialogue for inanimate objects. Now, however, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of "The Social Network" will aim to help bring the life of the legendary tech icon to the screen in a film for Sony Pictures that will reunite him with his "Social Network" producer Scott Rudin.

"Steve Jobs" will be based on the bestselling biography written by former Time magazine Managing Editor Walter Isaacson. Mark Gordon and Guymon Casady will also produce.

Jobs, the Apple tycoon who died last year from cancer, is also the subject of another film simply titled "Jobs" that will star Ashton Kutcher in the title role. There was no word on who will play the lead in the Sorkin-scripted film or who will direct.

—Nicole Sperling

Women out of Cannes picture

At this year's Cannes Film Festival, there are directors in their 30s and their 80s, directors from Europe and North America, directors from Asia and the Middle East — but no women.

Not, at least, among the 22 films competing for the coveted Palme D'Or, an absence that has drawn criticism from feminists — and a defense from the festival's artistic director.

Thierry Fremaux argues it's not his fault that filmmaking remains primarily "a male sport."

"I don't select films because the film is directed by a man, a woman, white, black, young, an old man," said Fremaux, who has led the festival since 2001. "I select films because I think they deserve to be in selection. It wouldn't be very nice to select a film because the film is not good but it is directed by a woman."

—Associated Press

'Vito' set as Outfest opener

Jeffrey Schwarz's "Vito," a documentary about the late gay activist Vito Russo, author of "The Celluloid Closet," will be the opening-night presentation at the 30th edition of Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Film Festival.

The oldest film festival in Los Angeles takes place July 12 to 22. "Vito" will screen at the Orpheum Theater in downtown Los Angeles.

Outfest also announced Wednesday that filmmaker John Waters ( "Pink Flamingos," the original "Hairspray") will receive its 16th annual achievement award for a body of work that has "made a significant contribution to [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] film and media."

—Susan King

Kirk Douglas, an open e-book

At age 95, Kirk Douglas is not too old to give e-books a shot.

The legendary actor has an e-memoir coming out in June, "I Am Spartacus! Making a Film, Breaking the Blacklist," about the Roman epic that came out in 1960 and helped break Hollywood's ban against suspected Communists.

Douglas, who starred in the "Spartacus" movie and helped produce it, discusses using Dalton Trumbo's real name in the credits after the blacklisted screenwriter had worked throughout the 1950s under assumed names.

An audio edition will be narrated by Douglas' actor-son Michael Douglas.

To help promote the book's June 12 release, Douglas will appear on a panel to discuss the historical figure Spartacus with Liam McIntyre, the star of the Starz series "Spartacus: Vengeance," and the show's creator and producer, Steven S. DeKnight. The event will be held May 31 at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Goldenson Theater in North Hollywood.

—Staff and wire reports

Gehry revises memorial design

Architect Frank Gehry has made changes to the design for the Eisenhower Memorial in Washington following complaints by members of the Eisenhower family that he'd put too much emphasis on the former president's upbringing in Kansas and not enough on his accomplishments as a military and political leader.

Among the notable changes are the addition of statues of Eisenhower, replacing stone relief images. The statues would show him as a military commander during World War II and as president in the 1950s.

Gehry's new design retains the metal tapestries that would surround the park-like space. They depict scenes from Eisenhower's childhood in Kansas.

The Eisenhower Memorial Commission is deliberating Gehry's revisions.

—David Ng


Benefits: Kris Kristofferson will headline a half-dozen concerts across California in June that will raise money and awareness for the United Farm Workers in recognition of the union's 50th anniversary this year.

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