Genius, innovator, monster, icon, egomaniac — all these terms apply to the late Apple titan Steve Jobs, and thus it’s not a surprise that depending on which version of the man one got to meet, how he’s been portrayed in countless books, and now three feature length films, tends to vary. We’ve had 1999’s “Pirates Of Silicon Valley,” 2013’s “Jobs,” and the highest profile of all, this fall’s Oscar contending, critically acclaimed “Steve Jobs.” Controversy has already swirled around the movie, with reports that Jobs’ widow asked Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio — actors considered early on for the lead role — not to do the movie. Meanwhile, current Apple CEO Tim Cook has not been pleased about what he described as an “opportunistic” movie. Now, two more people deeply involved with Apple have weighed in on the picture.
John Sculley, who was famously at the helm of Apple when Steve Jobs resigned following a power struggle, has shared his thoughts on the biopic, to which he contributed by meeting with screenwriter Aaron Sorkin four times. And Sculley thinks it’s mostly a success. “I think Steve would see a lot of things about this film that he would like: First of all, it’s a perfectionist product. Everything about it: the acting, the directing, the screenplay,” he told CNN. “But, I also think Steve Jobs would be a little bit hurt because many people who never knew the young Steve Jobs could go away from this movie and think, ‘well I know Steve Jobs.’ Well guess what? You don’t. Because that is not the complete Steve Jobs.”
On the flipside, famed designer Jony Ive, who worked closely with Jobs for years, hasn’t seen the movie, and has big reservations about the motivations of the filmmakers.
Indeed, anybody’s legacy is certainly controlled by who is telling the narrative, and things get doubly complicated when it involves someone as revered (and, by some, reviled) as Jobs. The conversation around “Steve Jobs” and its depiction of the titular subject is likely to continue as the awards season heats up, so share your thoughts below.
“Steve Jobs” is now in limited release and goes wide on October 23rd.