A24 has secured the rights to Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of tech magnate Elon Musk, with director Darren Aronofsky set to bring Musk’s life journey to the big screen. This big film project has already stirred considerable interest, especially given Aronofsky’s reputation for delivering visually striking and psychologically charged films.
The screenplay for the upcoming biopic will be based on Isaacson’s critically acclaimed biography. Isaacson also wrote the “Steve Jobs” book that was previously adapted into the 2015 Universal film of the same name, starring Michael Fassbender as the Apple CEO.
There was a heated bidding war to option Isaacson’s book from studios and filmmakers, but it was A24 who ultimately won.
Aronofsky, celebrated for his distinctive filmmaking style characterized by surreal and psychological elements, is no stranger to tackling complex narratives. His previous works include Requiem for a Dream (2000), The Wrestler (2008) Black Swan (2010), Mother! (2017), and The Whale (2022) showcases his ability to interestingly explore the depths of human psychology and emotion. It will be interesting to see how he ends up handling the life of Musk, but knowing the kinds of films Aronofsky makes… it’s going to be depressing.
Elon Musk is the enigmatic entrepreneur who co-founded SpaceX in 2002, and swiftly rose to prominence as a key player in the tech industry. He also was an early investor in Tesla and rose to become an influential figure at the company, where he served as chairman, product architect, and CEO. Musk’s most recent venture was the controversial decision to acquire Twitter for a staggering $44 billion, which he rebranded as X, and he’s been receiving a lot of backlash for pretty much every decision that he’s made since he’s been there.
As the wealthiest person in the world, with a net worth estimated to exceed $200 billion as of October, Musk’s story will make for a compelling exploration of ambition, controversy, and the intersection of technology and society. The collaboration between Aronofsky and A24 promises to provide audiences with a captivating cinematic experience that will dive into the complexities of Musk’s persona.
The description of the book reads:
From the author of Steve Jobs and other bestselling biographies, this is the astonishingly intimate story of the most fascinating and controversial innovator of our era—a rule-breaking visionary who helped to lead the world into the era of electric vehicles, private space exploration, and artificial intelligence. Oh, and took over Twitter.
When Elon Musk was a kid in South Africa, he was regularly beaten by bullies. One day a group pushed him down some concrete steps and kicked him until his face was a swollen ball of flesh. He was in the hospital for a week. But the physical scars were minor compared to the emotional ones inflicted by his father, an engineer, rogue, and charismatic fantasist.
His father’s impact on his psyche would linger. He developed into a tough yet vulnerable man-child, prone to abrupt Jekyll-and-Hyde mood swings, with an exceedingly high tolerance for risk, a craving for drama, an epic sense of mission, and a maniacal intensity that was callous and at times destructive.
At the beginning of 2022—after a year marked by SpaceX launching thirty-one rockets into orbit, Tesla selling a million cars, and him becoming the richest man on earth—Musk spoke ruefully about his compulsion to stir up dramas. “I need to shift my mindset away from being in crisis mode, which it has been for about fourteen years now, or arguably most of my life,” he said.
It was a wistful comment, not a New Year’s resolution. Even as he said it, he was secretly buying up shares of Twitter, the world’s ultimate playground. Over the years, whenever he was in a dark place, his mind went back to being bullied on the playground. Now he had the chance to own the playground.
For two years, Isaacson shadowed Musk, attended his meetings, walked his factories with him, and spent hours interviewing him, his family, friends, coworkers, and adversaries. The result is the revealing inside story, filled with amazing tales of triumphs and turmoil, that addresses the question: are the demons that drive Musk also what it takes to drive innovation and progress?