They say you should never build statues of anyone still living when those figures still have enough time to disappoint you. Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk has had plenty of time to spare in that department, having tanked his self-made reputation as a billionaire genius. The man already has one major book describing his life and many foibles, but we may not have to wait long before we see Musk made into an idol on the silver screen. A new film is reportedly already in the works by indie darling A24 and directed by none other than Darren Aronofsky.
The director of 2022’s award-winning The Whale and lauded dramas like Requiem for a Dream and The Wrestler could be set to head up a film version of journalist and author Walter Isaacson’s Musk best-selling biography Elon Musk. The book has only been out since September, but the folks at A24 made the top bid for the film’s rights in what was reportedly a heated contest for both studios and filmmakers. Both Puck and Variety reported the film has been greenlit, according to anonymous sources.
An A24 spokesperson told Gizmodo that Puck’s reporting was accurate. We still don’t have many details to go off, but Aronofsky will likely be taking along his production company Protozoa Pictures to get the film up and running. Aronofsky and Protozoa worked with A24 previously on The Whale.
Aronofsky has the sort of surrealistic style that works in an arthouse, but a biopic about one of the world’s richest men is not his usual fare. Still, in the past, he’s been attached to projects outside his usual wheelhouse, such as 2013’s The Wolverine. He has also worked with actors like Chris Hemsworth on the non-fiction science and nature romp Limitless.
A trip down into Musk’s murky mind does sound to be up Aronofsky’s alley, especially considering how the billionaire has slipped further toward the right while waxing on and on about how his latest boogeymen, the so-called “extinctionists,” are taking over in a conversation with podcaster Joe Rogan.
Now the big question: who the hell is going to play Musk? The billionaire would likely love the chance to step into the role himself, but that would probably prove a raw deal for everyone involved. Taking a quick poll of Gizmodo staff, we thought Nicolas Cage would surely bring the kind of manic energy needed to show Musk’s reported tantrums. Cage was originally supposed to star in The Wrestler but left under unknown circumstances.
Jesse Plemons has the right face for it and he’s had leading roles in pseudo bios such as 2012’s The Master. But let’s go deeper. Jim Caviezel, the Passion of the Christ star who has slipped deep into QAnon conspiracies, has already received an endorsement from Musk himself on a separate conspiracy-laden flick.
Perhaps the film could bag Robert Downey Jr., the man who inadvertently helped propagate the idea that Elon Musk is a real-life Tony Stark. You could handcuff a kitchen sink to the Iron Man star as penance, but Musk himself has already done enough to tank his own reputation, it may not be necessary.