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Wednesday, September 2, 1998 Published at 17:13 GMT 18:13 UK


Sci/Tech

Gates and Jobs - the movie

A swashbuckling adventure from Silicon Valley on a screen near you

By Internet Correspondent Chris Nuttall
You've suffered the operating systems, now sit through the movie.

Variety magazine reports that The Pirates of Silicon Valley, a film about the rivalry between Microsoft's Bill Gates and Apple Computer's Steve Jobs, is to go into production in October.

TNT (Turner Network Television) has been developing the project and Bill Gates is set to be played by Anthony Michael Hall, 30, whose credits include Edward Scissorhands, The Breakfast Club and TV's NYPD Blue.

More appropriately, he made his name in movies as "The Geek" in Sixteen Candles and as a computer nerd in Weird Science.

Steve Jobs may be portrayed by Noah Wyle, who is more used to saving sick people than sick companies in the role of Dr John Carter in the TV series ER.

Age of Empires

Variety says the two-hour movie will "tell the true story of the rise of the computer visionaries, their fierce battles and how the fledgling computer empire has changed the world". It will premiere next year.

A film parody of Bill Gates is rumoured to be going into production in 1999.

It will be called "20 billion", a figure once associated with the Microsoft chairman's wealth, now much more. Itwill apparently see Wayne's World star Mike Myers play "a billionaire computer software mogul whose company inadvertently causes the death of three coal miners", according to the Movie Page Website.

Happily ever after?

It is not clear whether the Pirates film will have a happy ending. In real life, Steve Jobs stood up at Macworld Expo last August and announced: "The era of competition between Apple and Microsoft is over."

Jobs said Microsoft had purchased $150m worth of Apple stock and Bill Gates appeared by satellite to announce an advanced version of Microsoft Office for Mac users.

And in real life, it was Apple president at the time, John Sculley, who had the most serious clash with Bill Gates. Jobs had resigned from the company in 1985 when Sculley was in conflict with Microsoft over Windows 1.0 and its similarities to the Mac interface.

There are also reports that the Home Box Office channel is developing a mini-series with the actor Tom Hanks on the history of Apple.



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