Ashton Kutcher’s jOBS sells to Open Road before Sundance

One of the most buzz-worthy titles at this year’s Sundance Film Festival is already off the market.

‘jOBS,’ the festival’s closing-night film starring Ashton Kutcher as Apple founder Steve Jobs, will be released by Open Road Films in April, the independent distributor said recently. Open Road, co-owned by movie theatre chains AMC Entertainment and Regal Entertainment, will handle the release in the US and Canada on behalf of Five Star Films, which financed the movie.

The film follows Jobs’ life from 1971 through 2000, and much of the picture was shot in the garage where the late entrepreneur first launched Apple in Palo Alto.

The movie, which is to premiere at Sundance on January 25, is the first of two new Hollywood productions that centre on Jobs. The other, being written by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Aaron Sorkin, reportedly will only have three scenes, all of which occur backstage before three vital Apple product launches.

In a statement announcing the film’s acquisition, producer Michael Hulme described Kutcher’s performance in ‘jOBS’ as “inspiring and unforgettable.”

But reception for the film at the Park City, Utah, festival will be a bellwether for Kutcher, the 34-year-old star of TV’s ‘That 70’s Show’ and ‘Two and a Half Men’ who has not always been taken seriously as an actor. In recent years, Kutcher has primarily appeared in movies such as the romantic comedies ‘New Year’s Eve’ and ‘No Strings Attached.’ His 2009 Sundance effort, ‘Spread,’ was a critical and commercial flop.

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