Pixar president: Steve Jobs would be ‘appalled’ by Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Steve Jobs’

“Even with framed cartoons on his walls, Ed Catmull’s office on the Pixar Animation Studios campus in Emeryville, Calif., is downright bland compared to the museum of toy trains, trucks and memorabilia that is John Lasseter’s space down the hall,” Matthew Belloni reports for The Hollywood Reporter. “Catmull, a Utah-born scientist and pioneer in computer graphics who began his career at Lucasfilm before launching Pixar Animation Studios with Steve Jobs and Lasseter in 1986, often is described as the brains of the operation, while Lasseter is the heart. But Catmull disagrees with that assessment: ‘First of all, John is extremely smart. And I think creativity happens when you combine the technical with the artistic.'”

“As Pixar pursues his strategy of making two-thirds original films and one-third sequels, the married father of six invited THR to the Steve Jobs Building on the idyllic Pixar campus for a candid chat,” Belloni reports.

THR: What do you think Steve would have thought of him being the subject of this movie?”

Catmull: I think he’d be appalled. And they actually can’t tell the story because the story’s wrong. He went through an arc in his life. There was a time the way he worked with people was not good, and I saw that when I first worked with him. But peo­ple look at that dramatic part, and they’ll make a movie about that — and that’s not the story. That was the beginning of a more interesting and complex story because when he left Apple, he then entered into what really is the classic hero’s journey: He’s wandering in the wilderness, he’s working with NeXT, it’s not working. He’s working with Pixar, we’re failing. In that process, Steve learned some major lessons, and he changed. He became an empathetic person, and we all saw this when [the Walter Isaacson book] was being written. Nobody’s going to psychoanalyze Steve while he was alive. That aspect of the change of Steve was missed. That’s the real story.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Sorkin totally blew it, regardless of whatever incestuous “awards” the flick may or may not get.

Dear next screenwriter and director: Just tell the story. It’s more than good enough.

We hope that somebody gets it right somebody.

Apple makes more in 1.5 minutes than Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Steve Jobs’ flop took in over the weekend – November 16, 2015
Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Steve Jobs’ flick unceremoniously dumped out of theaters – November 9, 2015
Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Steve Jobs’ fiction’s box-office flop may hurt award hopes – November 9, 2015
Aaron Sorkin ‘Steve Jobs’ fantasy flops hard – October 26, 2015
Steve Jobs’ widow continues to speak out against ‘Steve Jobs’ movie – October 22, 2015
Mossberg: The Steve Jobs I knew isn’t in Aaron Sorkin’s ‘Steve Jobs’ movie – October 21, 2015
Why Danny Boyle filmed ‘Steve Jobs’ in three different formats – October 16, 2015
‘Steve Jobs’ movie is fiction, blatantly inaccurate; yet another con job from Aaron Sorkin – October 14, 2015
Paid consultant Woz on ‘Steve Jobs’ movie claims accuracy doesn’t matter – October 13, 2015
Universal releases new 2:20-minute scene from ‘Steve Jobs’ – October 9, 2015
The Steve Jobs in ‘Steve Jobs’ is a fictional character invented by Aaron Sorkin – October 8, 2015
Jony Ive joins chorus of insiders’ complaints about new ‘Steve Jobs’ movie – October 8, 2015
The Strange Saga of ‘Steve Jobs’: A widow’s threats, high-powered spats and the Sony hack – October 7, 2015
‘Steve Jobs’ director Danny Boyle warns of ‘tremendous, terrifying power’ of tech giants like Apple – October 7, 2015
Aaron Sorkin: Steve Jobs just wanted to be loved – October 6, 2015
The ‘Steve Jobs’ movie that Sony, DiCaprio, and Bale didn’t want is now an Oscar favorite – October 6, 2015
Michael Fassbender already the odds-on favorite to win an Oscar for ‘Steve Jobs’ – October 5, 2015
Steve Jobs’ widow and friends take aim at Hollywood over ‘Steve Jobs’ biopic – October 5, 2015
‘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


  1. This film is character assassination, pure and simple. I don’t know whether this Sorkin had something personal against Jobs, or whether his anti Internet/technology agenda is the reason for this poor excuse for a Hollywood film, but it does have desperation and evil will written all over it I really, really hope that Universal gets financially screwed over royally for supporting this guy’s agenda.

    1. I am glad that Christian Bale did not accept this role. Job’s widow calls aside, I think Bale, being perfectionist himself, understood that is scenario has nothing to do with what was Jobs about — you do not even need to know Jobs personally to see that the film is Sorkin’s ramblings, unrelated to the eponymous person.

    1. Wow…the Sorkin bashing continues. Give it a break. Sheesh. Sorkin has done some great screen writing (Few Good Men, Moneyball, American President, West Wing). Yet, no one hits a home run with every swing…just ask some of the great movie directors such as Coppola, Spielberg etc.

  2. We all know “most” of the story. We just want it put on the silver screen. We will know when the story is not correct. So why even try to screw with our memory and try to give a different picture? The main actor was also totally wrong.

  3. No he wouldn’t. It’s art. Steve Jobs as an embodiment of the products he created as seen through his relationships with: his daughter, his friend, his boss/dad, his work/wife. It’s truly an excellent masterful example of what it is. Stop evaluating it as something it’s not.

    1. You all would throw rocks at Picasso. “THAT’S NOT WHAT A PERSON LOOKS LIKE, don’t call it a painting of a person. THATS NOT WHAT A CHAIR LOOKS LIKE, stop calling it a painting of a chair.” I’m losing faith in you all if you can’t get this. It’s called ART.

      1. Nope. Art does not get to tell blatant lies about an actual person (never mind one so famous), represent itself as his story, and then say, “Anything goes. It’s art”.

        Should I post a little story about your wife on here and say, “Don’t worry about it. I can say whatever I want. It’s art.”

        1. I see. So you’re saying a 2 hour MOVIE, that is WRITTEN from someone’s HEAD, and then ACTED by you know ACTORS, is itself implicitly FACTUAL in every detail. I see. Yes, you’re right, I’m clearly the one who doesn’t understand the medium.

          1. “…is itself implicitly FACTUAL in every detail. I see.”

            Don’t be so obnoxiously ridiculous. At least argue with what I actually wrote.

            I didn’t say EVERY detail, and neither has anyone else. This movie, by every account, does not even approach getting the general broad strokes right.

            And see omalansky above — “totally misrepresents itself as a biographical account—which it most definitely isn’t.”

            1. I wrote that because the movie is clearly true on a number of levels. Your concern seems to be with explicit details. The metaphors through the movie are deep and profound. Definitely they are true. You see, that’s how a good piece of art works, that’s what a good movie does. It’s not Sorkin’s fault that you were never taught how to understand literature and film beyond literal meaning. I do recommend you give it a try. You might start with the Wizard of Oz, which was written as an allegory about adopting the gold standard (the yellow brick road). Other classics will include Cool Hand Luke, which is a metaphoric representation of the Christian Gospels (You mean it’s not about prisoner treatment in the South? Must be a bad movie because that’s how it represents itself!) and will draw you all the way to the present day, where Steve Jobs is explored through the metaphor of three of his creations— Steve as Mac, Steve as Black Box, Steve as iMac, and hinting at Steve as iPod.

              It’s a film deeply deeply embedded in metaphor. If you can’t get it, let it lie. But you make yourself look foolish when you rail against art because the lines aren’t straight.

            2. Sorry Nerd,

              This movie is not “ART.” It’s not even art. It’s a calculated commercial enterprise, fueled by the enormous public interest and grief over Steve Jobs that erupted spontaneously across the globe at the time of his death. Some studio exec said, “How do we cash in on this?”

              You’re making good points about art in general, but you’re losing the argument by applying them to defend a cynically conceived marketing product.

              You want Art? I refer you to Citizen Kane. Important point: Welles and Mankiewicz did not call their project “William Randolph Hearst.” Calling this movie “Steve Jobs” is just the leading edge of the fraud.

              Art and Commerce. Technology and the Humanities.

              To quote someone you may have heard of, “Are you getting it?”

            3. 🙂 now we’re talking the same language.

              The problem with not calling it SJ is that the movie’s goal is to actually explore him as a human being. To do that effectively in such a short time shortcuts were made and conversations fabricated. The entire thing is untrue factually, in that few of those conversations ever actually happened, and none in the way they were portrayed.

              But it is an artifice in service of actually exploring the actual Steve Jobs through his actual companies and actual products. It would have been bizarre to have a movie called Tech Entrepreneur Bob where Bob invents the Mac, etc.

              But I stand by my opinion —opinion— that this movie is profound. It works on every level you want to examine it, except as documentary. I submit you can’t evaluate a movie on criteria it never claimed for itself. (If there’s a major fault here, yes it’s probably that of the marketers.)

              Agree to disagree. Carry on. 🙂

    1. While the Ashton Kutcher movie had a number of flaws, he certainly looked and played the part well.
      It received some criticism for its inaccuracies but it never received widespread scorn like Sorkin’s film. At least it had some semblance of balance.

      Sorkin’s film was just snarky and mean, portraying Jobs as an unsympathetic two dimensional character that was arrogant, narcissistic, uncaring and aloof. The real Steve Jobs displayed some of those characteristics in his earlier years. But those traits should not define who he was or who he would become as he matured. Jobs was a complex person and maybe a movie can’t capture all that complexity in two hours. But Sorkin’s portrayal made no attempt at balance.

      Sorkin’s film is enormously disrespectful and will serve poorly as a historical guide to one of the great entrepreneurs of our generation.

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