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Hollywood heartthrob George Clooney has been named as a lead contender for the role of Steve Jobs in the inevitable cash-in movie, planned to start filming next year.

Although Jobs is barely cool inside his tastefully-designed final resting place, the race is on to find someone to sum up the hippy-turned-ruthless-tycoon. Clooney, who is currently recovering from back surgery from injuries sustained while filming Syriana, has been named by unnamed industry insiders as being in line for the role, as has former fellow ER costar Noah Wyle.

Wyle does have the advantage of having played Steve Jobs before, in the 1999 cult classic “Pirates of Silicon Valley”. According to an interview with Wyle in Fortune magazine, Jobs was less than impressed with the film as a whole, but was sufficiently inspired to invite Wyle to that year’s Macworld Expo and pretend to be him during the opening keynote.

Jobs then took Wyle out to dinner. “He took his napkin and started sketching out the schematics and he passed the napkin around the table,” he recounts. “The check soon came and we started to get up the leave – and the napkin just sat there on the table. I thought to myself, ‘I got to take that napkin’ and my hand was on it, but Steve called from the door and asked, ‘Noah, you want to share a cab with me?’ So I put the napkin down. I could have had an Edison original.”

Clooney may be a bit long in the tooth for the role – though he was born six years after Jobs – and indeed may not want it. Films such as The Social Network may do okay in the box office, but the days when Clooney would slip into a Batman suit for money are long gone. And although Wyle hasn’t exactly been a notable success since ER, he’s certainly closer in form to Jobs. ®

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