Laurene Powell Jobs tried to block new film on Steve Jobs, says that the latest film portrays him as cruel and inhumane
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, it is claimed that Laurene Powell Jobs, Steve’s widow, tried to block the biopic titled “Steve Jobs” by lobbying Sony and eventual distributor Universal against its release. Based on Walter Isaacson’s 2011 biography of Jobs, the script is written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle.
Although the movie’s production staff reportedly tried to involve Powell Jobs in the project, it was her objection to Isaacson’s biography that reportedly led her attempt to kill the film. Apparently, Powell-Jobs and the people who knew the former CEO personally believe that the film plays down Jobs’ accomplishments while depicting him as cruel and inhumane, according to the Journal.
The Hollywood Reporter quotes a source as saying: “Since the very beginning, Laurene Powell Jobs has been trying to kill this movie.”
Speaking to The Journal, producer Scott Rudin said “She refused to discuss anything in Aaron’s script that bothered her despite my repeated entreaties.” He said that Powell Jobs “continued to say how much she disliked the book, and that any movie based on the book could not possibly be accurate.”
Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve Jobs’ daughter whose paternity he first denied, was also contacted by Powell-Jobs to voice alarms over the script. Brennan-Jobs requested a copy of the screenplay from Sorkin, but he refused, according to published reports.
In a statement to the WSJ, Universal Pictures chairman Donna Langley said Steve Jobs “was made with the utmost integrity and we are enormously proud of it.” The studio reportedly agreed to show Powell Jobs the movie under the condition that she not discuss it in public ahead of release, an offer she turned down.
The film, starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs, opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, with a wider release on October 23 in the US. The movie opens in the UK on November 13.
Jobs died on October 5, 2011, at the age of 56 of respiratory arrest. He had been battling pancreatic cancer. He turned into an icon due to his brilliant and eccentric innovations in technology. He has continued to remain in public’s eye through several books and films that are made to portray his life, career and personality.
Jobs was a controversial figure. While his efforts made path for products like the iMac and the iPhone, his sense of perfectionism was said to have caused him to lash out at employees and others who did not live up to his standards.
The Jobs portrayed in the new film is described by the Journal as “brilliant but abrasive and focuses on sometimes-contentious relationships with key figures in his life, including co-founder Steve Wozniak, marketing executive Joanna Hoffman, CEO John Sculley, and his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs.”
Isaacson spoke with Jobs more than 40 times and with more than 100 of his friends, relatives and colleagues. Despite Jobs’ cooperation with Isaacson while he was writing the book, current Apple CEO Tim Cook and Jobs’ other colleagues criticized the biography.
Cook when asked about the new film, described its makers as “opportunistic” in a recent appearance on “The Late Show.” Sorkin reacted very sharply by calling Cook “opportunistic.” However, he later said that they “probably both went a little too far,” and apologized to Cook in public.
Wozniak was reportedly paid $200,000 to consult on the new film, the Journal noted. The Apple co-founder said that “I felt like I was actually watching Steve Jobs… I give full credit to Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin for getting it so right.” Wozniak tells the Journal that the movie “is about Jobs and his personality. I feel that it did a great job.”