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Steve Jobs Biopic Starring Ashton Kutcher To Cannes: Inferno To Make Offshore Deals

By | Tuesday May 15, 2012 @ 12:33pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: JOBS, the film that will star Ashton Kutcher as Apple genius Steve Jobs, will be sold at the Cannes Film Festival by Inferno. The film will be directed by Joshua Michael Stern based on a Matt Whiteley script. Production is slated to begin later this year. Five Star Institute’s Mark Hulme is financing and will produce a film that covers Jobs’ life from his twenties to mid-thirties. CAA will be selling domestic distribution rights on the picture and packaged the project.

Inferno has a hot hand coming into Cannes, with a slate that includes Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, the Olivier Dahan-directed Grace of Monaco that will star Nicole Kidman, and Maggie, the elevated genre film about the John Scott 3-penned spec script about the six-week metamorphosis of a 16-year-old teenage girl into a zombie.

“There is a lot of product out there and some buyers have said it’s more than they’ve seen in 30 years,” said Inferno’s Bill Johnson. “There are a lot of programmer type projects, but we feel pretty fortunate in that we feel we’ve got films that are standing out from the crowd.”

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Bloomberg: No Time Like Present For Jobs Heirs To Sell Apple, Disney Stock

By | Tuesday November 22, 2011 @ 2:50pm PST

Laurene Powell Jobs might never find a better time to sell her late husband Steve’s $6.78 billion stake in Apple and Walt Disney Co., according to wealth management experts who talked to Bloomberg News. Jobs’ heirs could sell all their shares now and avoid $867 million in capital gains taxes. If Steve Jobs left everything to his wife, the family wouldn’t be liable for the 35% estate tax until she dies or gives money to others. “I can’t see any reason not to sell all of it,” said Kacy Gott of wealth-management firm Aspiriant. Another reason advisers said Jobs’ heirs should sell some stock to reduce the estate’s risks is that the capital gains tax is set to rise to 20% percent in 2013 from 15%. High-income Americans will also be subject to a 3.8% levy on unearned gains. Read More »

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Adobe Prepares To Pull The Plug On Controversial Flash Player Plug-In

By | Wednesday November 9, 2011 @ 11:27am PST

Adobe says it will “no longer adapt” the once-dominant program for handling multimedia and animation on computers and mobile devices — and that Steve Jobs once famously banned from Apple products. In an email to developers initially obtained by ZDNet, Adobe  added that it will “continue to support the current Android and PlayBook configurations with critical bug fixes and security updates.” Jobs led the opposition to the program, which he said in 2010 was unreliable, vulnerable to hacking, a battery hog, and gave Adobe too much power over the services that could be offered on mobile devices. Apple, Google, and Microsoft said that they preferred an open system, HTML5 — although Flash survived, finding homes on Google Android and BlackBerry smartphones. Even Jobs backed off somewhat last year, enabling third party developers to incorporate Flash into their programs for Apple devices. But the trend lines were moving in the wrong direction for Flash. For example, Microsoft stopped accommodating it in the Web browsers for its newest mobile phones.

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Bloomberg: iTunes Guru Prepping Apple TV Set For Late 2012

Will an Apple TV set change television as much as other Apple devices have changed music, computing, and publishing? Steve Jobs seemed to think so when he confirmed the Apple TV project to Walter Isaacson for his newly released biography of the late CEO, titled Steve Jobs. The TV set will integrate conventional programming with content on other Apple devices and it “will have the simplest user interface you could imagine,” Isaacson quotes Jobs as saying. Now Bloomberg says it confirmed that Apple has quietly hired iTunes creator Jeff Robbins to guide the project — which Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster said yesterday could be ready for prime time in late 2012. Munster said in a report that he’s told by his contacts that Apple already has a prototype for the TV set. The company also is ramping up its manufacturing capability and rounding up LCD screens. Apple could use its new Siri voice-recognition platform to enable viewers to ask for the shows they want. The Apple TV also might work with the new iCloud service, which opens opportunities for people to access programming anywhere they have a broadband connection.

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Apple Stock Takes Hit As 4Q Misses Targets

By | Tuesday October 18, 2011 @ 2:16pm PDT

Sluggish sales of iPhones during Apple’s fourth quarter contributed to revenue that was up more than 39% year-over-year at $28.27 billion but missed analysts’ estimates. Earnings per share were $7.05, less than the street’s $7.39 target — the first time the company has missed EPS estimates, or any estimates, for that matter, in seemingly forever (OK, since 2004). Wall Street was stunned. Apple reported after the bell this afternoon, and the stock was down as much as 7% after hours before rebounding slightly. (At least one analyst predicted such a drop.) Shares of Apple had risen to a new high, $422, on Friday.

Sales of iPods, iPads and computers came in mostly as predicted, leading some to believe that the lower-than-expected iPhone number — 17.07 million units — was because consumers (and maybe even Apple) held back on buying iPhone 4s in favor of waiting for the new iPhone 5 or even 4S, which new CEO Tim Cook introduced in his first public appearance the day before the death of company co-founder Steve Jobs. That should be considered a possibility, especially considering that Apple offered better-than-expected guidance for the first quarter.

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Actor Noah Wyle On Portraying Steve Jobs

By | Sunday October 9, 2011 @ 6:28pm PDT

Now that Sony Pictures is planning a movie based on the new authorized biography of Steve Jobs, attention has focused anew on the last film about the Apple icon. Actor Noah Wyle talks about playing Jobs in TNT’s 1999 made-for-TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley that the cable channel is re-scheduling. Here is some of what Wyle told Fortune magazine about the experience at the time:

I had apprehensions of playing Jobs in Pirates Of Silicon Valley. TNT was really excited about me taking the part, but I had worries I usually didn’t have as an actor. I knew something about him and I had the script, but I couldn’t really get a beat on the guy until they sent me the documentary, Triumph Of The Nerds. Then it was “Ohmigod! I’ve never seen anything like this. I have to play this guy.” I was so taken by his presence, his confidence, smugness, smartness, ego, and his story’s trajectory. He seemed to be the most Shakespearean figure in American culture in the last 50 years I could think of – the rise of, the fall of, and the return of. The truest definition of a tragic hero — but you get the ‘bonus round’ that F. Scott Fitzgerald said didn’t exist. Jobs has had one hell of a second act.

We were under a very strict directive not to contact the people we were playing for fear that

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Sony Pictures Acquiring New Steve Jobs Biography For Major Feature Film

By | Friday October 7, 2011 @ 2:48pm PDT
Mike Fleming

Steve Jobs Biography MovieEXCLUSIVE: I’ve just learned that Sony Pictures is making a hefty deal to acquire feature rights to Steve Jobs, the upcoming authorized biography by former CNN chairman and Time Magazine managing editor Walter Isaacson. I’m hearing the deal is $1 million against $3 million and that Mark Gordon will be the biopic’s producer. But this will be an MG360 project, which is the movie production partnership between Gordon and Management 360. ICM reps both Isaacson and Gordon. Sony Pictures would not comment. The studio seems a good fit for the book, having boiled business books into compelling dramas with both the Oscar-nominated The Social Network and Moneyball. The Isaacson book was supposed to be published on November 21st by Simon & Schuster, but now the release date has moved up to October 24th, according to a spokeswoman for the publisher. This was the hottest about-to-be biopic in Hollywood. [Will Hollywood Book Biopic Of Steve Jobs?] The 448-page profile is based on over 40 interviews with the Apple co-founder and over 100 conversations with friends, family members, colleagues and competitors. And it’s a compelling story: the building of the world’s most valuable technology company by creating the devices that changed how people use electronics and revolutionized the computer, music, and mobile phone industries. Jobs gave his full cooperation but had not read it as of mid-August. At first titled iSteve: the Book Of Jobs, Isaacson had second thoughts about what was appropriate for the first biography to get Jobs’ blessing and cooperation. Even when it wasn’t even finished, it made it (briefly) into the top 50 on Amazon’s bestseller list. Isaacson eventually persuaded his publisher Simon & Schuster to go with the simple title of Steve Jobs. First planned for 2012, the book’s release date was moved up. Read More »

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TNT To Re-Air ‘Pirates Of Silicon Valley’

By | Thursday October 6, 2011 @ 9:37am PDT
Nellie Andreeva

Will Hollywood Book Biopic Of Steve Jobs?

As a tribute to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died yesterday, TNT will preempt its primetime lineup for two back-to-back airings at 8 PM and 10 PM of its 1999 original movie Pirates of Silicon Valley, the only film to date that portrays the technology innovator. It follows the race between computer rivals Apple and Microsoft and stars Noah Wyle as Jobs, Anthony Michael Hall as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Joey Slotnick as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

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R.I.P. Steve Jobs

By | Wednesday October 5, 2011 @ 4:45pm PDT

UPDATED WITH HOLLYWOOD TRIBUTES: Apple just issued this statement about the death of its co-founder after his long battle with cancer: “We are deeply saddened to announce that Steve Jobs passed away today. Steve’s brilliance, passion and energy were the source of countless innovations that enrich and improve all of our lives. The world is immeasurably better because of Steve.” He was 56. What a compelling legacy he leaves behind, building the world’s most valuable technology company by creating the devices that changed how people use electronics and revolutionized the computer, music, and mobile phone industries.Immediately, Walt Disney President and CEO Bob Iger circulated this response: “Steve Jobs was a great friend as well as a trusted advisor. His legacy will extend far beyond the products he created or the businesses he built. It will be the millions of people he inspired, the lives he changed, and the culture he defined. Steve was such an “original,” with a thoroughly creative, imaginative mind that defined an era. Despite all he accomplished, it feels like he was just getting started. With his passing the world has lost a rare original, Disney has lost a member of our family, and I have lost a great friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Laurene and his children during this difficult time.”

It’s no exaggeration to say that Iger’s 2005 success resolving the long-running feud between Disney and Jobs set in … Read More »

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UPDATE: Apple Introduces iPhone 4S, Souped-Up Features Focus On Ease Of Use

By and | Tuesday October 4, 2011 @ 11:40am PDT

UPDATE: Apple just wrapped up its press conference announcing the upgraded iPhone. Better hardware, new operating system, and available on Sprint as well as AT&T and Verizon — but not the revolutionary iPhone 5 that some predicted. Available Oct. 14, wireless subscribers will be able to score a 64 gig version of the iPhone 4S for $399, a 32 GB model for $299, and 16 GB for $199. But the price for the 8 GB iPhone 4 has been cut to $99 while the 3GS is free. The 4S will look a lot like previous iPhones but will have a dual core processor that handles graphics about seven times faster — good news for gamers. It will be a world phone, capable of handling wireless calls transmitted via GSM or CDMA technologies. The camera has been upgraded: 8 megapixels with more sensitive light processing and face detection. The company also talked up the speed; just a half-second lag between shots. It will handle 1080p high-definition video with image stabilization. Apple’s also excited about a new feature called Siri: It will answer verbal inquiries about, say, the weather, stock prices, and restaurant reviews — and handle tasks such as making appointments in your calendar. As expected, the company said that it will launch its iCloud service on Oct. 12. No talk about Facebook integration. Investors apparently expected more: The value of Apple shares declined during the presentation and are down about 4.7% about an hour before the end of the trading day.

PREVIOUS 2:10 AM: Super-secretive Apple e-mailed “Let’s Talk iPhone” invitations to a 10 AM PT media event at its headquarters in Cupertino this morning. But it’s the first major product unveiling that won’t be introduced by Steve Jobs. Instead, his successor Tim Cook is expected to present what may be the iPhone 5 and/or the iPhone 4S and/or Apple’s latest iOS mobile software — iOS 5. According to The AP, the latest iPhone will include wireless device setup and content syncing, a better 8-megapixel camera, as well as email and Web-browsing apps. But the new smartphone isn’t expected to look much different from the iPhone 4, though it could be thinner and have a bigger screen. Deadline’s sibling site BGR.com says some industry watchers had hoped for a brand new teardrop-shaped iPhone 5 with larger display, insanely thin design, and more. Now it’s looking like Apple might be set to introduce an upgraded iPhone 4 instead. Bummer, right? Not if Apple’s iPhone 4S is a pretty substantial bump as opposed to just an incremental update, as many are speculating. Some even think Apple is set to unveil about a dozen various iPhone models this week, ranging from a modest update on the cheap to a teardrop-shaped overhaul that will feature a 4-inch display and a unibody aluminum design.

Read More »

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Apple Stock Up 10% Since Jobs’ Exit

By | Monday September 19, 2011 @ 8:57pm PDT

Wall Street is giving Apple’s post-Steve Jobs transition a thumbs-up, at least so far. The company’s shares rose 2.78% today to close regular trading at $411.63, an all-time high for Apple. The surge gives it a market valuation of $381.6B, making it the most valuable company on the stock market. Exxon Mobil had held the top market cap at $358.3B. The stock is up 10.14% since the day after Jobs stepped down as CEO and was replaced by Tim Cook nearly a month ago.

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Apple Says Steve Jobs Is Exiting As CEO

By | Wednesday August 24, 2011 @ 3:48pm PDT

UPDATED: Steve Jobs resigned in a letter (see below) today effective immediately saying he could no longer meet his duties and expectations as Apple CEO. But he did not specifically address the state of his health. What do you think the effect on Hollywood will be? He reinvigorated animation at Disney through Pixar and helped engineer that studio’s purchase of the CGI toon hitmaker. His hardware and software have helped Big Media find new platforms for their content when DVD sales hit the skids. Analysts agree that the next arena for Apple to master is television and that newly named CEO Tim Cook, formerly the company’s COO, may be even better suited to guide the company there. But without Jobs’ genius facility for imagineering and branding, Apple’s future remains unclear.

Here’s Jobs’ letter:

To the Apple Board of Directors and the Apple Community:

I have always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple”s CEO, I would be the first to let you know. Unfortunately, that day has come.

I hereby resign as CEO of Apple. I would like to serve, if the Board sees fit, as Chairman of the Board, director and Apple employee.

As far as my successor goes, I strongly recommend that we execute our succession plan and name Tim Cook as CEO of Apple.

I believe Apple”s brightest and most innovative days are ahead of it. And I look forward to watching

Read More »

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‘South Park’ Season Premiere Skewers Steve Jobs

By | Monday April 25, 2011 @ 1:02pm PDT
Nellie Andreeva

The latest target for the pranksters from Comedy Central’s South Park: Apple CEO Steve Jobs. In a clip from the upcoming 15th season premiere of the politically incorrect animated series, Jobs is introducing a new revolutionary product. Let’s just say that the Apple research team won’t be taking notes.

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Steve Jobs Re-Elected To Disney Board At Shareholder Meeting

By | Wednesday March 23, 2011 @ 12:09pm PDT

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has retained his board seat at the Walt Disney Co. after a vote today during the company’s annual shareholder meeting in Salt Lake City, this despite questions from an advisory firm over his attendance record at board meetings. Jobs, Disney’s largest shareholder with more than 7% of the company’s stock, has been plagued with health problems the past several years (he currently is on medical leave from Apple). Glass Lewis & Co. said he has attended about three-quarters of the board meetings in 2010, raising concern that he couldn’t give satisfactory attention to the postion. Another advisory group, Institutional Shareholder Services, said Jobs’ spotty attendance “raises questions about his ability to fulfill his responsibilities as a director,” Bloomberg says, though it did vote to keep him on the board.

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