Apple's CEO left the master of dysfunctional relationships a lot of material to work with
FORTUNE — Viewers who have followed Aaron Sorkin’s TV and film work over the years were delighted to learn Tuesday that one of Hollywood’s most gifted screenwriters has officially signed on to adapt Walter Isaacson’s biography of Steve Jobs for Sony Pictures’ SNE film.
Sorkin is the master of romantic relationships that are painfully, hilariously dysfunctional. The opening scene of The Social Network, in which Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is dumped by his college girlfriend (Rooney Mara), is the most famous example, but Sorkin’s ouvre is littered with the casualties of misdirected love.
There’s Casey McCall (Peter Krause) and Dana Whitaker (Felicity Huffman) in Sports Night. Josh Lyman (Bradley Whitford) and Amy Gardner (Mary Louise Parker) in The West Wing. Danny Trip (Whitford) and Jordan McDeere (Amanda Peet) in Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.
Although Steve Jobs eventually settled down in what Isascson describes as a happy, supportive marriage, Apple’s AAPL co-founder gave Sorkin plenty of material to work with.
Here are three scenes from the biopic we’re dying to see:
- Life with a narcissist. Perhaps the closest thing to a classic Sorkin love affair was Jobs’ tumultuous five-year relationship with the ethereal Tina Redse, who says that when she found the description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder in a psychiatric manual she finally realized what she’d been putting up with. At one point she scrawled on the hallway to their bedroom: “Neglect is a form of abuse.”
Joan Baez’s red dress. In this scene, Jobs tells the folksinger early in their relationship that there’s a red dress at Ralph Lauren’s Polo Shop that she’d look beautiful in. He drives her to the Stanford Mall, shows her the dress, and tells her she ought to buy it. She says she can’t afford it. He buys himself a couple of shirts and, to her enduring puzzlement, they leave without the dress. She still doesn’t understand what that was about.
- The marriage proposal. Jobs proposed to Laurene Powell on Jan. 1, 1990, and she accepted. Then he said nothing more about it for many months. Furious, she finally left him. Even after they reconciled and she had gotten pregnant, he had very public second thoughts, asking a wide variety of friends and acquaintances whom they thought was prettier, Tina or Laurene.
There’s lots more where that came from. Sorkin should have a blast.