Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell at the The Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York (Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage)
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Steve Jobs and Laurene Powell at the The Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York (Photo by Brian Ach/WireImage)

The WSJ reports that Steve Jobs’ widow Laurene Powell Jobs repeatedly tried to block production of the Sorkins/Boyle movie Steve Jobs.

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 Universal Pictures, which is releasing the $33.5 million production on Friday … 

The paper reports that she felt that the script played down his accomplishments and portrayed Jobs as “cruel and inhumane.” The studio says that she was offered the opportunity to be involved in the development of the movie, but she declined. She also declined a private viewing prior to release on condition that she not comment publicly until it opened.

“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 WSJ. 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.”

Bill Campbell, longtime friend and former Apple board member, said that the movie depicted Jobs in “a negative way” and wasn’t fair because “he’s not there to defend himself.” Tim Cook had previously described the movie as “opportunistic” and “not a great part of our world” – which led to scriptwriter Aaron Sorkin first hitting back and later apologizing.

The movie is clearly dividing views amongst those who knew Jobs well. While observing that the movie doesn’t accurately describe events, Steve Wozniak– who was reportedly paid $200k as a consultant – said that he “felt like he was actually watching Steve Jobs.” Macintosh system software designer Andy Hertzfeld commented that the movie “deviates from reality everywhere” but “exposes deeper truths” about the man. Sorkin reportedly described it as “a painting, not a photograph,” while director Danny Boyle said that “the truth is not necessarily in the facts, it’s in the feel.”

Steve Jobs goes on general release on October 9th.

Speaking of true-or-false Steve Jobs stories, Woz was a guest on The Tonight Show recently, inviting Jimmy Fallon and Seth Rogen to guess whether it was true that the two Steves were once held up at gunpoint outside a pizza place.


Photo: Brian Ach/WireImage

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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