‘Steve Jobs’ biopic makers shooting for ‘a portrait rather than a photograph’

“When Steve Jobs hits movie theaters on Oct. 9, it will be the second film inspired on the innovator’s life in the space of just two years, on top of two existing biographies, a September documentary by Alex Gibney and a 2017 opera in Santa Fe,” Julia Zorthian reports for TIME Magazine. “But Steve Jobs will be the most authoritatively credentialed movie portrait by far.”

Zorthian reports, “In anticipation of the release, Lev Grossman spoke with writer Aaron Sorkin, director Danny Boyle and Jobs actor Michael Fassbender for the Sept. 7 issue of TIME.”

Michael Fassbender will not look like Steve Jobs — and the filmmakers are rolling with it

Fassbender does not share many of Steve Jobs’ well-known features, such as the dark hair and long nose. While Ashton Kutcher shared a striking resemblance with Apple’s cofounder and CEO in the 2013 movie Jobs, Boyle says the creative team of Steve Jobs is going for “a portrait…rather than a photograph.”

“We decided that I didn’t look anything like him, and that we weren’t going to try to make me look anything like him,” Fassbender adds. “We just wanted to try to encapsulate the spirit and make our own thing of it.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Again, we’re hoping it’s the work of art that Steve Jobs’ legacy deserves.

Kate Winslet on ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic: ‘Sorkin makes it almost not about Steve Jobs at all’ – August 26, 2015
Watch Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs in new official trailer – July 1, 2015
See Michael Fassbender as ‘Steve Jobs’ in first movie trailer – May 18, 2015
Universal Pictures announces full cast of ‘Steve Jobs’ as biopic begins shooting – January 28, 2015
Filming for Steve Jobs biopic underway at Apple co-founder’s childhood home – January 17, 2015
Perla Haney-Jardine to play Lisa Jobs in Universal’s ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic – January 6, 2015
Kate Winslet eyed for female lead in ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic – December 22, 2014
Jeff Daniels eyed to play former Apple CEO John Sculley in ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic – December 9, 2014
John Sculley: Forcing Steve Jobs out of Apple was a mistake – April 18, 2014
John Sculley: I wish I told Steve Jobs ‘This is your company, let’s figure out how you can come back and be CEO’ – Septemeber 13, 2011
John Sculley: Apple’s big mistake was hiring me as CEO – October 14, 2010
Sculley: Uh, maybe I shouldn’t have fired Steve Jobs – June 7, 2010


  1. “We decided that I didn’t look anything like him, and that we weren’t going to try to make me look anything like him,” Fassbender adds. “We just wanted to try to encapsulate the spirit and make our own thing of it.”

    And that’s going to be a huge problem when you’re doing a bio of a man the world spent years closely watching, and who’s just recently left us.

    Say what you will about Ashton Kutcher, but he made me believe I was watching Jobs.

  2. When I saw that the team behind this movie made no attempt to make Michael Fassbender look anything like the person they want to portray in this movie, I was outraged. To me, it denies any credibility to the movie. When the film industry has any number of extremely talented makeup artists available to depict an historical figure realistically, there is no excuse for avoiding that.

    To see Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth, or the cast of a film like Too Big to Fail look almost identical to the Wall Street bankers they portrayed, (or other examples like Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious, George C. Scott as Patton, John Hurt as the Elephant Man, Salma Hayak and Frida Kahlo, or Merle Streep as Margaret Thatcher, to name a few more) brings the story to life and adds credibility that a biopic needs.

    I have enjoyed some Aaron Sorkin pieces and hated others equally. He is a man of considerable talent, but increasingly, I find his arrogance grating. The same is true for director Danny Boyle.

    Personally, I have found that chronicling history takes a long time to step back and get the proper perspective. Steve Jobs was such a compelling historical persona. But the early attempts to craft a biography of his life and legacy in print and on film have fallen well short of the mark. Increasingly, I am worried that this latest attempt will do the same. And for me, they only do damage to the contributions that Steve Jobs gave the world.

    That the filmmakers are so cavalier with the appearance of Michael Fassbender in a major motion picture is inexcusable to me. That might be okay in an off-off-off-off Broadway community theatre play, but not in a major Hollywood release.

    Is it too much to ask for a little frickin’ accuracy?

    1. That they are cavalier with the appearance of Steve Jobs in the film makes me think they might be equally if not more cavalier with how they portray his persona and character.

      1. We have to remember that this piece is based on Isaacson’s biography, which was cavalier with turning Jobs into a cardboard evil genius cliche, cutting almost all of countless stories of his kindness and magnanimity that people have told after his deaths in numerous interviews and articles.

        So I expect after watching this film viewers will have the same “Wow, this Jobs guy was irredeemable in his (in)humanity, but he was damn genius” impression.

  3. por·trait
    a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders.

  4. I saw the Ashton movie and thought it was very good but a missed opportunity.

    He looked incredibly like Steve jobs but the way the movie was put together was awful.

    My highlights included when he went back into 1 infinite loop – it was actually the building – brilliant.

    The guy playing Jony Ive was less convincing though…

    This new movie seems a lazy one to me… Personally I think it’s gonna bomb.

  5. I can’t see Fassbender as Jobs. While a very talented actor, the mannerisms just don’t appear to be there. He seems to have the asshole side of Jobs down, but that assumes Jobs was a one dimensional character, which I am sure isn’t the case.

  6. So far, nobody can convince me otherwise.

    The best depiction of Steve Jobs was Noah Wyle in Pirates of Silicon Valley.

    The movie itself was a great movie. it was much closer to the facts (not 100, but closer) than the Kutcher movie (which was awful).

    I have no faith in this movie. Having said that, it might end being a great movie and I’m just prejudging it.

  7. I said it before this is a Godawful trailer, I hope that the movie isn’t as bad.

    The sensationalist trailer seems to just take the negatives in including lies of Jobs.
    The GUI was NOT stolen. Apple BOUGHT the foundations of it from Xerox with shares and developed it much further.
    The trailer shows Jobs as an idiot “can’t hammer a nail ‘, who is dumber than his staff (they have the last word), mistreats his friends and who is only successful because of nutty foot stomping Fanboys. A person like that had talent like Cook, Ive etc work for him for years? There are 1 billion iOS devices sold, all to crazed fanboys?

    Like I said hope the movie isn’t like the trailer but I suspect it is.

  8. I won’t prejudge the movie. I didn’t know him, but one time I encountered him hurrying past in a narrow hallway. We made eye contact. Sometimes, your entire perception of a person is based on such a fleeting glance, pregnant with unearthed meanings. Some know this phenomenon as “love at first sight”.

    When the movie comes out, I’ll be looking for the humane spark that reminds me of that momentary encounter. If the emotion is there, that’s verisimilitude enough for me.

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