by Matt Kapko

People close to Steve Jobs discuss controversial new film

Oct 22, 2015
iPhoneIT LeadershipMedia and Entertainment Industry

The highly anticipated, and oft-protested, new film about the life and times of Steve Jobs is not surprisingly getting mixed reviews. Many folks who were close to the late Apple cofounder are defending Jobs's legacy and say he deserves to be portrayed in a more positive light.

‘Steve Jobs,’ a film of high drama and intrigue

The making of the new film “Steve Jobs” included almost as much drama and intrigue as the life of the man it portrays. The team working on the film, based on Walter Isaacson’s official biography, suffered numerous setbacks during the last four years, including a high-profile Sony hack that occurred during production, and it was almost never made. Controversy continues to surround the movie as a war of words erupts between those who worked on the film and others close to Jobs who liken it to a posthumous smear campaign.

Laurene Powell Jobs protests film

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Image by REUTERS/Gus Ruelas

Laurene Powell Jobs actively tried to kill the film killed for years. Jobs’s widow took issue with Isaacson’s biography of her late husband, despite his implicit involvement in the project during the final months of his life. Powell Jobs reportedly lobbied every major film studio and even contacted actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale to dissuade them from making the film, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Tim Cook focuses on the positive

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Image by Apple

During an interview on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “I think that a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic, and I hate this. It’s not a great part of our world.” Cook focused on his positive memories of Jobs. “He had this uncanny ability to see around the corner and to describe a future, not an evolutionary future but a revolutionary future, and he was a joy to work with.”

Steve Wozniak: ‘Movie is not about reality’

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Image by Wikipedia

Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak told that Seth Rogen, who plays him in the film, “said things I could never say … Everything in the movie didn’t happen.” Although the film clearly deviates from historical accuracy at times, Wozniak, who was a paid consultant for the film, says it is still the best on-screen depiction of Apple to date. “The movie is not about reality. It’s about personalities,” he says.

Bill Campbell sticks up for Jobs

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Image by REUTERS/ Stephen Lam

Bill Campbell, a longtime Apple board member and friend of Jobs, told The Wall Street Journal: “A whole generation is going to think of him in a different way if they see a movie that depicts him in a negative way … If they want to make a drama, they shouldn’t do it at somebody else’s expense. He’s not there to defend himself.”

Jony Ive takes issue with Jobs portrayal

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Image by Apple

Jony Ive, Apple’s design chief, worked with Jobs for 14 years and told Vanity Fair he doesn’t recognize the character portrayed by actor Michael Fassbender. “How you are defined, how you are portrayed can be hijacked by people with agendas that are very different than your close family and from your friends,” Ive said. “There are sons and daughters and widows and very close friends who are completely bemused and completely upset.”

John Scully thinks Jobs would like new film

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Image by Wikipedia

Former Apple CEO John Sculley met with the film’s screenwriter Aaron Sorkin four times during the production of the film. “While [the dialogue in the film] may not have been the exact words that were spoken, it represented the kind of dialogue that said, ‘Yes, that’s that person.'” he told “I think Steve would see a lot of things about this film that he would like: First of all, it’s a perfectionist product. Everything about it: the acting, the directing, the screenplay.”

Andy Hertzfeld: ‘It’s a fine movie’

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Image by Wikipedia

While the film often deviates from reality, it also “exposes deeper truths” about Steve Jobs, according to Andy Hertzfeld, a member of the design team that worked on the original Macintosh. “I think it’s a fine movie, brilliantly written and performed, and full of humor and feeling,” he told Re/ “The purpose of the film is to inspire and move the audience, not to portray reality.”

Aaron Sorkin on his own film

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Image by Flickr

“There are going to be people who say we were rough on him, and there are going to be people who say we weren’t rough enough on him,” screenwriter Aaron Sorkin told Wired: “I think that if you asked 10 writers to write 10 movies about Steve Jobs, you’d get 10 different movies that wouldn’t resemble one another.”

Danny Boyle calls movie ‘outrageous and clever’

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Image by Wikipedia

Danny Boyle, the film’s director, told he didn’t want to make a film about Jobs, per se. “[The script] was just this extraordinary way of approaching him — that it wasn’t a biopic, yet it felt like we learned so much about him. I knew how significant he was in terms of changing our world, but this approach to him was so outrageous and clever and satisfying and also emotional.”

Chrisann Brennan says Jobs was ‘haunted’

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Image by Talks at Google/YouTube

Chrisann Brennan, the mother of Jobs’ first child whose paternity he denied even after a DNA test proved otherwise, recently penned an article for the Daily Mail, in which she detailed their volatile relationship. “For all the sparkling, spacious beauty of the Apple Stores, Steve was a haunted house whose brokenness was managed and orchestrated by Apple’s PR team in an extremely masterful way,” she wrote.