Beyond ‘Jobs’: 9 movies about Silicon Valley that must be made immediately

Can we show you some scripts? No, seriously. This will take just five seconds...

That should be a movie...

So here's the pitch: The Internship meets The Walking Dead. Bam! Box-office gold.

The new Steve Jobs biopic might have earned just $6.7 million during its opening weekend, but that shouldn’t dissuade movie studios from mining Silicon Valley for more story ideas. Big Tech is a seething cauldron of comedy, tragedy, gross excess, and even international intrigue, and box-office success will go to those who take chances.

So, hey, can I show you some story treatments? No, seriously. This will take only five seconds.

‘The Phone’

Remember that time when some Apple dude left his iPhone prototype in a bar, and then someone sold it to Gizmodo? And then it happened again and again? Losing prototype smartphones in taverns isn’t just a first-world, real-world problem. Now it’s Judd Apatow’s next bro comedy.

Jonah Hill plays the unfortunate Apple engineer who loses the phone, but he’s been rewritten as Steve Jobs’s personal assistant, and he spends the entire movie trying to placate his scary dragon boss and get the phone back from tricky journalists, intellectual-property thieves, and even Justin Bieber, who plays himself.

In the worst indignity of all, Brian Lam and Jason Chen of Gizmodo are played by Jay Baruchel and Christopher Mintz-Plasse.


In Mat Honan’s “Welcome to Google Island,” we met Larry Page, a Dr. Moreau-like figure bent on engineering new life forms through a synthesis of technology and Silicon Valley libertarianism. In Googlepocalypse, Page returns with an invention called Google Juice. The potion is supposed to infuse human DNA with benevolent algorithms (“Intelligent search for all!”), but instead unleashes 20,000 zombie Googlers into the Mountain View countryside.

You need not be young or particularly well-educated to sate the appetite of an undead Googler. They don’t have the same standards as living Google employees, and are happy to dine on the flesh of state-college graduates, baby boomers, and even public-sector employees.

‘GIF: The Motion Picture’

It’s one of those star-studded, team-effort romcoms like Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve: Twenty big-name actors attempt to find love in a zany, wacky, HTML5 world. The unifying thread? Each character forwards the same hilarious GIF to another person in the movie—who then forwards it to someone else, and so on, and so on, until everyone has followed one another on Tumblr. Misunderstandings, hilarity, and romance ensue.

It is possibly the poorest excuse for a movie in human history, and its poorly orchestrated “viral” marketing campaign—Adobe Flash? Seriously?—breaks browsers across the world.

‘The Lumberjack’ starring Sean Parker

As the film opens, we meet our antihero—a humble lumberjack who just wants to do an honest day’s work for the Northern California timber industry. But then ecoterrorists say rude things to him on his wedding night, and so begins a 90-minute gorefest of mayhem and murder.

Sean, dude, perhaps you’re taking this just a bit too hard.

As chainsaw murders begin to mount, the homicidal lumberjack begins taunting his next victims in missives sent to the local community newspaper. The killing spree finally ends when everyone begins ignoring the lumberjack—who retreats under a bridge, and begins living life as a troll.

‘Run Snowden Run’

Bestowed with Jason Bourne-like powers of evasion and personal defense, NSA leaker Edward Snowden hops from international city to international city, evading his pursuers and occasionally killing people. During his travels, he hooks up with a mysterious pole dancer in Hawaii, makes clandestine YouTube videos with a journalist in Hong Kong, and eventually gets stuck in a Russian airport for a month.

It’s a really exciting movie until it becomes a scene-for-scene remake of Tom Hanks’s The Terminal.

‘Speed: Menlo Park Express’

Only one thing is more annoying than a luxury shuttle bus spiriting a bunch of Facebook employees from San Francisco to Menlo Park: that same shuttle bus under the control of a maniacal murderer, who cares even less about the bus’s impact on the local townspeople than Facebook itself does.

It’s Speed. On a Facebook shuttle bus. With free Wi-Fi.

The shuttle’s speed must not drop below 60 mph, lest everyone be blown to kingdom come. But that’s okay, because the Facebook employees want to “move fast and break things,” including the speed limit. Perhaps the hijacking is a good thing after all, as the bus won’t be able to stop for those ugly engineers who get on at Glen Park.

‘The Startup’

In this new Christopher Guest mockumentary, we follow three software developers as they launch DinrSwop, a social-sharing app that allows food users to barter their leftover meals with like-minded eating enthusiasts. The team’s lead explains the concept during a VC pitch meeting: “This, gentlemen, is a half-eaten burrito. Some might call it Mexican cuisine, but I call it an investment—and I expect ROI.”

In a gross abuse of Series A funding, the team upholsters its entire office in 16-ounce selvedge denim, and blunders on its marketing-tchotchke choice, selecting a plastic model of a fried egg with a cigarette sticking out of it. Because irony, hello.

Even more ironic: A real version of the app, LeftoverSwap, should be launching soon.

‘Yahoo! The! Marissa! Mayer! Story!’

It’s a movie! About Marissa! But behind all the exclamation points and laughter, there’s a poignant origin story. We learn that Marissa was home-schooled as a child, and spent dreary afternoons doing “character-building projects” including home gardening, home canning, and even home theater troubleshooting. She learned to hate her home life. And thus rebellion.

Amy Ryan steps in to star as the high-tech titan after Amy Adams decides that playing Marissa Mayer would hurt her standing with the crucial working-mother demographic.

‘Farming Victory: The Legend of Mark Pincus’

With complete disregard for accuracy or even plausibility, this frustrating biopic portrays former Zynga boss Mark Pincus as a humble farm boy who escapes his rural roots to run the world’s most prolific source of social-gaming misery. It’s the classic rags-to-riches-to-rags story as Pincus buckles under the pressure of simulated agriculture: “You morons! Cucumbers aren’t root vegetables!”

The grim fable ends with a dejected Pincus sitting in a cornfield, trolling his own Facebook feed, and witnessing his friend count dwindle from two to one to zero.

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