How do you market a movie about a computer nerd to a global mainstream audience? Well, for one you cast Ashton Kutcher. And then, when it comes to poster design (opens in new tab), you find an angle that's more likely to engage people who, while they may use Apple products, are unlikely to be interested in watching geeks fiddle with computer chips.
And in this case of Steve Jobs biopic 'Jobs', Open Road Films (opens in new tab) have clearly decided to focus on the drugs, man.
Portraying the founder of one of the world's biggest companies as a psychedlic, drugged-up rebel might sound like typical Hollywood overreaching, but it's not as much of a stretch as you might think. As a young man Jobs was a textbook hippy, travelling to India in mid-1974 in search of spiritual enlightenment then, on return to America, shaving his head and dressing in traditional Indian clothing.
During this time he began practising Zen Buddhism, engaged in lengthy meditation retreats, and started taking LSD enthusiastically. He called his drug experiences "one of the most important things in my life [...] It reinforced my sense of what was important - creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could."
The colours! Look at the colours!
There are no explicit drugs references on the poster of course, but the inference is clear. The psychedelic colour scheme cleverly plays on both the drugs trip experience and the rainbow colours of the early Apple logo, while the tagline reflects the consciousness-changing rhetoric of Jobs, which he continued to draw on even as he became a corporate leader.
It's a massive visual cliche, but in this case it works - and we love the bold use of a face-on shot of Kutcher as Jobs. The physical resemblance between the two men is striking and makes you look twice. And any movie poster that can do that is doing its job well...
The movie itself seems worth a look too. Directed by Joshua Michael Stern, written by Matthew Whiteley, and shot by Oscar-winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter, it plays fast and loose with some of the detail of Jobs' life, but has received generally favourable reviews. Along with Kutcher, it stars Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine.
Released in the US on August 16, 2013, it's one of two planned Jobs biopics, the other being written by The Social Network scribe Aaron Sorkin, and described as a "play in three scenes".
Check out the trailer for Jobs below:
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