Despite the film being based on Walter Isaacson’s authorized Steve Jobs biography, the upcoming Aaron Sorkin-written biopic telling the story of the late Apple co-founder isn’t being totally welcomed by Tim Cook and company. As we’ve seen play out over the last few weeks, the Apple CEO called recent movies including Sorkin’s that depict Jobs in a not entirely positive light as “opportunistic”. A counter punch then apology from Sorkin followed.
The film’s director Danny Boyle isn’t softening his words, however, calling Apple a company with “tremendous, terrifying power” in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter promoting the film. Boyle believes artists should keep corporations like Apple in check, so to speak:
“These companies are so powerful now that governments are running scared,” Boyle says. “They have such influence around the world, they’ve replaced petrochemical companies, pharmaceutical companies, they’re bigger than all of them put together and they have tremendous, terrifying power and it’s important that artists and writers are not cowed by them and if that means they’re accused of being opportunistic then so be it.”
He adds: “It’s important that we put these people in the spotlight for the reasons of their own business reasons or visionary reasons and we need to keep an eye on them.”
Aside from Boyle describing his view on the responsibility entertainers have to keep giant companies accountable, Sorkin talks about some of the backstory behind the film’s production including the shift from Sony to Universal:
“Danny wanted to shoot in San Francisco, but shooting in San Francisco added $8 million to the budget, and the movie was only supposed to cost about $25-30 million,” he tells THR. “The studio was saying, ‘No you can’t shoot in San Francisco. So Scott Rudin said, ‘Give me the movie back for a week, let me shop it around for a week, you have to let us do that.’ And Amy Pascal said ‘I’ll give it to you for a week’. Less than 24 hours later Universal had taken it and at the same time Amy was saying ‘I’ve made a big mistake you can do it in San Francisco.”
But Sorkin says by this time there was “so much bad blood between Scott and Amy” that it stayed with Universal.