Taking Names: Film on Steve Jobs to close Sundance festival

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The first film on the life of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs since his death will debut in January at the Sundance Film Festival, organizers said.

The film “jOBS,” directed by Joshua Michael Stern, chronicles “the defining 30 years of Steve Jobs‘ life,” according to a statement Monday from the Sundance Institute. Ashton Kutcher portrays Jobs.

The film, written by Matt Whiteley, is described as “a candid, inspiring and personal portrait of the one who saw things differently,” according to Agence France-Presse.

The movie aims to tell the story of Jobs‘ life from wayward hippie to co-founder of Apple Inc. and revered creative entrepreneur.

The producers said on Twitter that “jOBS” will be the closing film at Sundance, which takes place Jan. 17 through 27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Joining Mr. Kutcher in the cast of “jOBS” are Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J.K. Simmons and Matthew Modine.

Sony Pictures also is developing a movie about Jobs, based on the bestselling book by Walter Isaacson that was released after the Apple chief’s death. It will be scripted by “Social Network” writer Aaron Sorkin.

Jobs died on Oct. 5, 2011, at the age of 56 after a long battle with cancer.

Mike Tyson wants to take one-man show overseas

Boxing legend Mike Tyson said Monday he wants to take his one-man stage show on the road internationally, to Saudi Arabia and India and elsewhere, if they’ll let him in.

Announcing a U.S. tour of his “Undisputed Truth” show — which opened in Las Vegas in April and transferred to Broadway — the 46-year-old said being on stage gave him a “high” like drugs did during his notorious hell-raising days.

Mr. Tyson, a convicted rapist who recently was denied a New Zealand visa, said a trip to Australia last month gave him confidence in his abilities to connect with audiences in the United States and beyond.

“The Australian press, they thought I was the abominable snowman until they got to know me. They thought I was scary. … They thought I was gonna give them a knuckle sandwich like back in the old days,” he told Agence France-Presse.

But they warmed to him, he said, adding: “That gave me such overwhelming confidence in doing it.”

Asked which countries he would like to take the show to, Mr. Tyson, a convert to Islam, said: “Any one of them, I don’t really care. … Saudi Arabia. A Scandinavian tour, we can do a Philippines tour, any of them.

Describing why he wants to take the show to more audiences, he said: “The stage gets me high, the fans get me high. That’s the high I was looking for when I was doing drugs.”

In the show, produced by director Spike Lee, “Iron Mike” — accompanied by musicians — recounts his tough childhood in Brooklyn, roller-coaster career, and drug- and alcohol-fueled lifestyle that eventually landed him behind bars.

Mr. Tyson will kick off his 10-week U.S. tour in Indianapolis on Feb. 12, with shows in 36 cities including Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston and the District.

Travolta, Newton-John record Christmas album

John Travolta and his on-screen love in “Grease,” Olivia Newton-John, have recorded together for the first time in 30 years, making a Christmas album honoring the star’s late son, Jett.

Speaking to Australia’s Fairfax Media Tuesday, the pair said they had remained close friends since their roles as Danny and Sandy in the hit musical and were delighted to be working together again.

“Olivia and I have always wanted to work together again … but unless it’s right and organic, it feels like you’re forcing something and I didn’t want anyone to feel that way,” Mr. Travolta said on why it took so long.

According to Agence France-Presse, the star of “Pulp Fiction,” “Get Shorty” and “Hairspray” said an album was appealing because “I love to sing, and I don’t get a chance to do it a lot.”

“To join Olivia again, where we’ve succeeded at this level, to do that is a beautiful opportunity. I can’t believe it,” he said.

Their new album, “This Christmas,” includes a song by John Farrar, who wrote their famous pop duet “You’re the One That I Want.” The video for the new song will have its global release on Wednesday.

Miss Newton-John, who admits she still has the skin-tight black pants she wore in the movie, said she remains surprised at the success of the film about the love affairs of 1950s high school students.

“We still have little kids coming up to us who are discovering the movies. It’s like three generations who love the movie, who are going to be thrilled to see Danny and Sandy, as they think of us, together again,” she said.

Proceeds from the album, which also features Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett and James Taylor as guest artists, will go toward the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne.

“For us, it’s a wonderful way of giving back to causes that we care about, and we’re also giving the fans back something that they might like to see us do,” Miss Newton-John, a cancer survivor, said.

Jett Travolta died in 2009 at age 16 after suffering a seizure. His father said Christmas can be a difficult time for his family.

“Doing something for him makes it easier, because you’re doing something, you’re proactive, you’re raising money for the foundation that represents him,” the actor said.

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