A biopic of billionaire tech entrepreneur Elon Musk is now in the works after independent studio A24 won the adaptation rights to Walter Isaacson’s recent biography, with Black Swan’s Darren Aronofsky on board to direct.
Variety magazine reports that A24 triumphed in a “heated competition” bidding war to acquire Isaacson’s authorised biography Elon Musk, which was published in September. It was heavily criticised in some quarters, with the Guardian describing it as a “dull, insight-free doorstop of a book”, and it generated a number of controversies itself, with Isaacson forced to correct a suggestion that Musk had ordered his Starlink satellite communications network to be turned off to stop a Ukrainian drone attack on Russian warships.
A former chair and CEO of CNN, Isaacson is the author of a string of biographies, including Henry Kissinger, Benjamin Franklin and Einstein. His bestselling 2011 biography of Apple CEO Steve Jobs was adapted into the 2015 biopic of the same title starring Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle.
Aronofsky most recently directed The Whale, starring Brendan Fraser, for which Fraser won the best actor Oscar, while Aronofsky himself was nominated for the best director Oscar for dark ballet drama Black Swan.
Musk, 52, was born and raised in South Africa and, according to Isaacson, suffered “mental torture” at the hands of his father Errol, from who he is estranged. Musk is CEO and chief technology officer of SpaceX, and chairman and CTO of X Corp (formerly Twitter). He is also CEO of car company Tesla, but was fined and forced to step down as chairman in 2018 in a deal with US financial regulators after a series of misleading social media posts. Musk is currently ranked at number one on Forbes’ Real Time Billionaires list with a net worth of $223.8bn (£183.2bn).