We’re a couple of weeks now from the sad passing of Steve Jobs, and the long-term impact remains to be seen, not just on Apple, the company he founded and helped make a superpower, but also on Pixar, the CGI animation giants he also backed, who across the last decade-and-a-half have become the most creatively exciting studio around, as well as the closest thing to a solid-gold hit factory that you can have (even their lowest-grossing film took in nearly $400 million).
Even while Apple dominated his time, Jobs remained active at Pixar, and an interesting story emerged last week about a move he made to lure the hottest screenwriter in town to the studio. Aaron Sorkin, who won an Oscar earlier in the year for penning “The Social Network,” never met Jobs, but the two were mutual admirers, and became friends over the phone, after Jobs called “The West Wing” creator after he was quoted as saying he used Macs to write his scripts.
Sorkin wrote a typically articulate rememberance of Jobs for The Daily Beast, and revealed that, in their final talk together, Jobs had called him and asked him to write a film for Pixar. Like…well, everybody, Sorkin was a huge fan of the “Toy Story” creators, and worried about being able to write for inanimate objects, but Jobs reassured him that, “Once you make them talk, they won’t be inanimate.”
Jobs asked him to come to Pixar for a tour and further discussions, but Sorkin never took him up on it, to his regret, although the writer concludes by saying, “I still keep thinking about that Pixar movie. And for me, that’s Steve’s legacy. That, and the fact that I wrote this on a Mac that I loved taking out of the box.”
It was a tantalizing prospect, certainly, and one that’s not necessarily totally finished with (if Sorkin’s still mulling the possibility over, you can be sure that the Pixar Brain Trust will check in on him every so often). But we do wonder if he would have been the right choice; Sorkin has specialized so far in writing mile-a-minute dialogue for fearsomely smart characters, and Pixar films are different beasts. Still, he’s certainly capable of showing new sides to his work, and we hope John Lasseter & co don’t forget Jobs’ offer.