Steve Jobs’ widow and friends take aim at Hollywood over ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic

“Four years after Steve Jobs’s death, a new movie is reopening a debate over the Apple Inc. co-founder’s legacy,” Ben Fritz and Daisuke Wakabayashi report for The Wall Street Journal. “Mr. Jobs’s allies, led by his widow, Laurene Powell Jobs, say the film ‘Steve Jobs,’ and other recent depictions, play down his accomplishments and paint Mr. Jobs as cruel and inhumane. Ms. Jobs repeatedly tried to kill the film, according to people familiar with the conversations. She lobbied, among others, Sony Pictures Entertainment, which developed the script but passed on the movie for financial reasons, and Comcast Corp.’s Universal Pictures, which is releasing the $33.5 million production on Friday. ‘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,’ said Bill Campbell, a longtime Apple board member and friend of Mr. Jobs. Mr. Campbell hasn’t seen the film.”

“The film is based on a best-selling biography of Mr. Jobs by Walter Isaacson. Mr. Jobs cooperated with Mr. Isaacson while he was writing the book, but some friends and former colleagues, including Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook, have criticized it in recent months,” Fritz and Wakabayashi report. “Asked about the movie by ‘The Late Show’ host Stephen Colbert recently, Mr. Cook said, ‘I think a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic and I hate this.'”

“People behind ‘Steve Jobs’ say they offered to include Ms. Jobs in the film’s development, but she declined,” Fritz and Wakabayashi report. “She refused to discuss anything in Aaron’s script that bothered her despite my repeated entreaties,’ producer Scott Rudin said in an emailed response to questions from The Wall Street Journal. He said Ms. Jobs ‘continued to say how much she disliked the book, and that any movie based on the book could not possibly be accurate.'”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This film, about which we were once hopeful (despite the fact that we hate Isaacson’s POS book as well), is sounding more and more like a nightmare with each passing day.

‘Steve Jobs’ biopic too nasty to win Best Picture award – October 2, 2015
Andy Hertzfeld: ‘Steve Jobs’ movie ‘deviates from reality everywhere’ but ‘aspires to explore and expose the deeper truths’ – October 2, 2015
Aaron Sorkin blasts Apple’s Tim Cook over ‘Steve Jobs’ critique: ‘You’ve got a lot of nerve’ – September 25, 2015
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


    1. Yes, but people are supposed to be polite and wait for immediate family to pass away before ugly ‘truths’ are exposed, and even then politeness demands ‘positive’ truths balance the complete picture.

      Unless we’re talking about dead Republicans, it seems…. ‘Truth’ and ‘positivity’ be damned, in that case, apparently.

      You hear these ugly stories about Jobs mercurial and driven personality so we know there must be some truth to them (see ‘the mother of his first child’ who says he denied paternity and ignored her the first three years of her life yet said that there was good in him and does a decent job of painting a balanced picture of him.

      There is bad in all of us. There is good in all of us. To ignore both is dishonest. The balance of what you were is displayed by praise at your funeral or by the lack of attendance.

      And that is the one and only sad truth.

      1. Whats with the out from LEFT field republican bashing? What does that have to do with a steve Jobs film?

        Also wasn’t there a piece even in MDN that woz thought it was like a perfect channel of steve?

      2. The man is gone, just as one day our memories and this little film will be gone. We celebrate Jobs with the objects our family uses everyday. God bless him for the joy he brought us.

    2. As well as untruth. Movies can be edited to show only the untruths, or at least make the untruths seem like they are the story. If you take the worst aspects from a lengthy book and pretend they are the whole picture you aren’t engaged in anything but sensationalism. Sorkin needs to go work for the Republican Party or Fox News. Truth and complete stories aren’t honored in those places, either.

      The facts are that by the time Lisa was three years old Jobs was starting to form their long term relationship, which she seems to be happy with. Early in her life, while SJ was still at Apple the first time, he was surrounded by shallow people advising him to deny everything. He did not fit with those people. Then they threw him out. He was 30 at the time. Who among us didn’t have relationships when we were 30 that we wish had done better at?

      At the bottom line, it’s Comcast. They can sell the movie to themselves and force it down the throats of their cable subscribers. They’ve got a hit on their hands. Whoopee!

  1. Hollywood always has an agenda.

    “Band of Brothers” propagated the myth one company from one regiment was heroic, brave, and almost singlehandedly won WWII.

    Sorkin’s movie is there to perpetuate the false notion Apple “stole” the GUI from PARC, and that SJ was just an a _ _ _ _ _ _ .

  2. Yes, let’s all condemn a movie we haven’t seen because it isn’t putting Steve Jobs in an angelic light. And where does MDN come up with the summation that the film is a “nightmare”? The reviews I’ve read have been glowing. That the film is an amazing experience with a powerhouse script and great performances.

  3. We who followed, worked with benefitted from his visions insight and inspiring thoughs and ideas in his life will sorely miss him forever, but always acknowledge and revere that rare privilege forst hand.

    Unfortunately Steve Jobs the genius and profound thinker was fallible as a human and trusted many a wong poser ie: Bill Gates, Sculley, Eric the snake Schmidt.

    Unfortunately, his bad choice of Walter Isaacson (who never knew him throughout his brilliant career) to ink his legacy was a shallow and dense disservice to say the least and another human trust mistake.

    Rest in peace Steve, the opportunistic Hollywood vultures couldn’t even let a decade pass, to reflect and responsibly put together a well deserved epic that would shine like you did.

    Shine on you crazy diamond.

  4. Steve jobs put the people in his life in two groups: A players on one side, B and C players on the other.

    A players include the likes of Tim Cook and Jonny Ives, with whom he had wonderful working relationships

    Everyone else he pretty much treated like shit. It was his form of Zen/Simplicity. It also turned out to be a convenient management style. If you were tough enough to put up with Steves bullshit at Apple, you just might be an A player.

    We’re essentially hearing all the griping from the hundreds of people he shat on over the years, and a few objections from the A players.

    As beneficiaries of his work and life, it puts us in a strange position. Know that if Steve Jobs met you (yes, YOU) in real life he probably would have treated you like crap. Yet we all benefit from his years of work on all these devices and software. Does that make us complicit with a guy would was kind of an A-hole most of the time to most people?

    The last thing I’ll say, for now, is this: Steve Jobs the asshole is a lot easier to like when Apple Computer is on the brink of bankruptcy. In many ways getting ripped off my MS made them sympathetic; it made them an underdog.

    A few years before his death, Apple surpassed MSFT in market cap, and shortly after Apple became the most valuable company in the world. Then the “asshole” stories don’t sound so great. When Steve passed , Tim Cook, a pretty bland character by comparison, took over, and it’s pretty hard to hate that guy. Maybe Apple doesn’t really have a PR problem, but Steve, it appears, always will.

  5. Rule 1. Hollywood lies. Rule 2. Hollywood lies about lying.

    I think there is no doubt that Jobs was more than a bit of an ass at times, but the same qualities that made him drive for perfection are what pissed people off. I guess people think Gates sat around handing out candy and sports cars all day.

    People say the same things about Elon Musk…

    “I try really hard to back away and put my ego aside. Elon is incredibly difficult to work for, but it’s mostly because he’s so passionate. He can be impatient and say, ‘God damn it! This is what we have to do!’ and some people will get shell-shocked and catatonic. It seems like people can get afraid of him and paralyzed in a weird way. ” – Musk book by Vance

    “… Elon’s worst trait by far, in my opinion, is a complete lack of loyalty or human connection. Many of us worked tirelessly for him for years and were tossed to the curb like a piece of litter without a second thought. Maybe it was calculated to keep the rest of the workforce on their toes and scared; maybe he was just able to detach from human connection to a remarkable degree. What was clear is that people who worked for him were like ammunition: used for a specific purpose until exhausted and discarded..” – Musk book by Vance

    I am in no imaginable way comparing myself to these people, but when I’ve cared deeply about a project, and been in charge from start to finish, I change. I’m not Mr. Nice guy. I expect people to care as much as I do, and they don’t, which drives me insane.

    When some dick head coder that you’d fire in a second if you could gets pregnant in the middle of a 2 year project and expects her full salary while she’s gone and her job to be there when she gets back, and everyone is just like “Oh how wonderful!!” You want to pull your eyeballs out of their sockets and swing them around by the chords and ask if she wants those too?

    You start to take people and their pathetic BS personally.

    But ultimately you get it done. The last guy who everyone loved and still do, he didn’t.

    I was working on systems for banks and crap, not “change the world as we know it” stuff like Jobs or Musk. I can’t even imagine how they try to break off pieces of their vision and try to get people to digest it. What I do know is that they’re gonna piss people off, create more enemies than friends, and be pretty much alone most of the time.

    And the whiners who bitch about not getting credit for their work, well, they wouldn’t have even had the work if Jobs hadn’t thought “I want to…”

    The thing about denying the daughter though, can’t figure that one out.

    1. In the beginning, the freshly minted millionaire has a pregnant ex-girlfried pop back into his life and say “I baking something for us.” Some skepticism is warranted.

      After the paternity test, SJ came around. By the time Lisa was 3 he was starting to engage in what became their long-term relationship. By the time she was a teenager she asked to have her birth certificate amended to revise her legal name to be Lisa Brennan-Jobs. SJ was reportedly very happy about that.

      Sometimes it takes a while to get relationships right. My opinion is that SJ was a better person at 55 than he was at 30. That’s about all anyone can hope for.

      1. Hopefully we all are. And you make a good point. He was in the driver’s seat of a multimillion dollar corporation at the age most of us are still filing our first tax returns from McDonalds. He was never *really* a worker bee. Sometimes you have to figure out all those people have all these “feelings” you have to deal with. Heh.

  6. SJ created this alternate reality in which we were not stuck on IBM dumb terminals – one in which we no longer had to do business with the company that had created the tabulating machines for the Nazi regime.

    I think that young people should have to work for a month on MS-DOS before seeing this film, so they can appreciate what Steve Jobs did different and how he enriched all of our lives.

  7. You can make anyone out to be a villain if that’s all your looking for and I suspect Hollywood could even make Mother Theresa look bad. There needs to be redemption at some part of the story for a life that certainly had it. Who wants to watch a movie who’s main attribute and unrelenting theme is he was an asshole? He was a tough guy but he had his kinder gentler moments too. You don’t change the world being namby-pamby.

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