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With the release of Danny Boyle's Steve Jobs starting in just a few days, a new report from The Wall Street Journal states that a handful of Steve Jobs' "allies," centering on his widow Laurene Powell Jobs, attempted to shut down the movie before its release. Going so far back as to when it was in the hands of Sony, she lobbied the various production companies the script passed through -- ending with the movie's distributor, Universal Pictures-- in attempts to prevent its eventual release.

stevejobsandlaurenepowell.jpg

The report describes the objections of Powell Jobs and others to the new movie and several others as depicting Jobs as "cruel and inhumane" with scripts and stories that "play down his accomplishments" in preference for entertainment over accuracy. Among those speaking out against the films is Jobs' close friend Bill Campbell:
"A whole generation is going to think of him in a different way if they see a movie that depicts him in a negative way," said Campbell, a longtime Apple board member and friend of Mr. Jobs. Mr. Campbell hasn't seen the film.

"If they want to make a drama, they shouldn't do it at somebody else's expense," said Mr. Campbell. "He's not there to defend himself."
Apple CEO Tim Cook has also spoken out against the new movies, calling them "opportunistic" during a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin objected to Cook's characterization, stating Cook "had a lot of nerve" making such an assessment when Apple has "a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour," but he quickly apologized for the statement.

Steve Jobs producer Scott Rudin said that the crew behind the film offered a chance for Powell Jobs to be included in the film's production and on set, but her dislike of the Walter Isaacson biography -- from which Aaron Sorkin based his script -- prevented her from becoming involved.
"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 Wall Street Journal. 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."
She has, however, apparently yet to see the film, as she declined an offer to screen the film in advance under a non-disclosure agreement.

The film still has a few supporters from Apple's corporate past, including Steve Wozniak, who was paid $200,000 to consult on the film. Wozniak states that since the movie is about "Jobs and his personality," he believes that the filmmakers "did a great job." Although there were a few bumps in the road leading up to filming, Steve Jobs is earning largely positive reviews from a few early screenings, even generating Oscar buzz for star Michael Fassbender and his portrayal of Jobs.

Article Link: Laurene Powell Jobs Tried to Kill New 'Steve Jobs' Film, Friends Object to Portrayals
 

Rogifan

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Nov 14, 2011
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Is this movie billed as fiction? Because it seems like even those who like the film admit a lot of the dialogue isn't the way it really happened. I believe both Woz and Andy Hertzfeld said that. Did Boyle or others get any input from the guys at Pixar or from guys like Avie Tevanian? One could argue that OS X is just as important as the original Mac and Avie was esentially the father of OS X. To me we're getting an incomplete picture of Steve if we mostly ignore the NeXT years, ignore getting married to Laurene and having kids, buying Pixar, running Apple for the second time, his bout with cancer etc.
 

Frign

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Aug 19, 2011
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With all due respect for his accomplishments, it's out of question Steve Jobs was not the kindest of people. Leadership just doesn't work in conjunction with kindness and compassion, especially if you are out revolutionizing the market (iPod, iPhone, iPad, ...).
 

AngerDanger

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Dec 9, 2008
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a new report from The Wall Street Journal states that a handful of Steve Jobs' "allies," centering on his widow Laurene Powell Jobs, attempted to shut down the movie before its release.
Really liking the use of this word here. It's like Jobs is a minority that's received centuries of persecution.

Hopefully, Laurene's actions will inspire more people to come out as Steve Jobs. There's no shame.
 
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c1phers

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Oct 27, 2011
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I'm sure she has plenty of money... she could finance a movie with an opposing studio... At least that would give the opportunity for those who are against this movie to show their portrayal.
 

darkknight14

macrumors 6502
Apr 18, 2011
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You don't get to the top without making a few enemies, we have all seen the many stories of people past and present calling Steve out for being 'tough minded' and 'ruthless'.

From what I have read (biography, news articles) and watched (BBC documentary 'Billion Dollar Hippie', Kutcher Movie) I can see he was a very passionate, smart man! If people couldn't deliver, they were gone.

I just hope this movie keeps to the facts with what actually happened, and doesn't just concentrate on him denying he had a daughter, or firing people.

Side note: wonder if Jony Ive is mentioned at all in the film.
 

jayducharme

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Jun 22, 2006
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The thick of it
I wonder why seemingly everyone at Apple hates Isaacson's biography. Jobs gave his blessing on it, and Isaacson had unprecedented access to everyone involved with Apple and Jobs. I thought it was a fair portrait, showing both his obsessiveness and his genius. (The two often go hand in hand.) By the end of the book, I was quite moved by what he had accomplished over his too-brief life, and saddened it all came to an end. I'm not sure what more one could ask from a biography.
 

geekscott

macrumors newbie
Jun 12, 2012
11
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I have a request: Please change the link-bait title of this article. It's unnecessary on Macrumors where we are all likely to read everything anyway. The word "Kill" so close to "Steve Jobs" and using his wife's name is clearly an association attempt to trick a brain into thinking she tried to kill him (not the movie). *edit*

Maybe I'm being over sensitive, but not even the Wall Street Journal used that wording. Thanks for considering my request.

*edited to remove inaccurate part of my comment
 
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Rogifan

macrumors Penryn
Nov 14, 2011
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It should also be noted that Steve didn't want a warm biography. He told Walter Isaacson to be honest and accurate. It seems like in the face of death, he was willing to face his demons in a way his friends / family are not.
How do we know it was completely honest and accurate? When Jony Ive says his regard couldn't be any lower perhaps that's because he's comparing the conversations he had with Isaacson to what ended up in the book? Eddy Cue gave a thumbs up to Becoming Steve Jobs and that book showed Steve warts and all.
 
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SpinThis!

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Jan 30, 2007
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Sometimes it's hard for hero worshippers to read the various truths about their hero.
If you know Steve Jobs, I'm guessing you're not going to find out any "truths" that are particularly different in the film. Hollywood takes the more polarizing parts and magnifies them out of proportion to accentuate the drama. Steve was downright hostile and arrogant at times. He even opened admitted being a terrible father to Lisa growing up but I'm guessing this film is only going to show the more sinister side.

I wonder why seemingly everyone at Apple hates Isaacson's biography. Jobs gave his blessing on it, and Isaacson had unprecedented access to everyone involved with Apple and Jobs. I thought it was a fair portrait, showing both his obsessiveness and his genius. (The two often go hand in hand.) By the end of the book, I was quite moved by what he had accomplished over his too-brief life, and saddened it all came to an end. I'm not sure what more one could ask from a biography.
I agree. Haven't read (or listened) to the latest book yet but I thought Isaacson had a fair take as well.

Like a lot of artists, Steve wanted perfection in most everything he did. That caused a few ruffled feathers. That scene in the Kutcher trailer where Jobs told off an employee about why fonts were important is very telling. Some people are going to see that is being a total assho/e. That's Steve knowing exactly what he wanted and not putting up with BS.

He wanted to surround himself with the same people. He was very passionate about what he did. He lived and breathed this stuff. People say they're passionate but Steve challenged it. Could he have been "nicer" about telling people off? Probably but his methods got results.

There's plenty of people that told Steve off when HE was wrong; Steve wanted you to really prove it. "The best ideas won," as he used to say. He knew when you weren't putting out your best work and he had a particularly damning way of showing it. As someone who's sat on both sides of the hiring table, one of the hardest things to do is to tell designers when they're wrong and the work sucks. Some people have particularly thin skin. (You're not criticizing them, you're criticizing the work but some people treat it one and the same.) Steve had no "filter" which was probably both good and bad. Those who stuck with it produced great work; those who couldn't hack it moved on.
 
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AtheistP3ace

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Sep 17, 2014
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Philly
I have yet to watch any of the movies they have made about Steve Jobs. I heard there is really good book though. Forget the name.
 

FactVsOpinion

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Jul 27, 2012
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With all due respect for his accomplishments, it's out of question Steve Jobs was not the kindest of people. Leadership just doesn't work in conjunction with kindness and compassion, especially if you are out revolutionizing the market (iPod, iPhone, iPad, ...).

The movie doesn't seem to be arguing he is perhaps the second or third kindest of people, but somewhere far closer to the very bottom of the list.

And speaking of due respect: it's easy to understand why those who loved him care about the mark this movie will leave on his legacy especially while still overcoming their grief; This movie matters because it will likely reach much farther than all previous negative accounts and rumors.
 
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samcraig

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Jun 22, 2009
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Interesting here is that she was opposed to the book. I don't remember her reaction after it came out, but I do remember many press article citing that she was the one that told Isaacson that he needed to be honest/not afraid to show Steve's "dark" side. (paraphrasing). However, Isaacson did include an interview with an Apple exec that painted her a little unfavorably (stated that her and Jobs meeting by chance was actually calculated by her). Perhaps that's where/when she decided that the book wasn't good.
 
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inhalexhale1

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Jul 17, 2011
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I can't comment on what is and isn't true. I don't follow Steve Jobs or his life beyond the apple products he introduced to really know, or care. However, if there is some truth to how he conducted himself in life versus the movie, then it's at least somewhat reflective of who he was. You have to wonder, with the high profile nature of this film, if Apple is worried more so about the impact on their brand versus Steve's legacy.
 

Sonmi451

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Aug 28, 2014
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There's no right answer here. She is probably right in that it doesn't depict who he really is. Just because Woz thinks its accurate doesn't mean everyone know knew him will feel that way. Opportunistic or not, the filmmakers have the right to do what they want and portray him how they want. I would hope they would try to capture who he is, but without the input of people close to him, it can be tough. In the end I will watch the film, more for entertainment purposes, but also to see Sorkins vision of Jobs on screen. I didn't like the Isaacsons biography really. Jobs just seemed like an a**hole, so I understand why Lauren wouldn't be supportive. Maybe that's how he really was but I never met the guy.
 
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ArtOfWarfare

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Nov 26, 2007
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I don't think she and Steve see eye to eye on this at all.

Steve talked with Walter Issac for several hours on several days over the course of years. He said he knew there were parts of the book that would make him upset, but he wanted to get it all out there - the good and the bad. It's an amazing book. I didn't come out thinking any less of Jobs from reading it... it just added more depth to him. It was all fascinating. Obviously he wasn't flawless - nobody is.

On the other hand, she:
1 - Simply hates the book (has she even read it?)
2 - Was invited to participate in the movie and declined.
3 - Was invited to see the movie in advance and declined.

She's just combative and not worth listening to, I don't think.
 

Rogifan

macrumors Penryn
Nov 14, 2011
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I don't think she and Steve see eye to eye on this at all.

Steve talked with Walter Issac for several hours on several days over the course of years. He said he knew there were parts of the book that would make him upset, but he wanted to get it all out there - the good and the bad. It's an amazing book. I didn't come out thinking any less of Jobs from reading it... it just added more depth to him. It was all fascinating. Obviously he wasn't flawless - nobody is.

On the other hand, she:
1 - Simply hates the book (has she even read it?)
2 - Was invited to participate in the movie and declined.
3 - Was invited to see the movie in advance and declined.

She's just combative and not worth listening to, I don't think.

Go listen to the Hypercritical podcast episode where John Siracusa talks about this book. It's an OK book but not great. I would've preferred if the book was in chronological order of Steve's life rather than chapters based on products. Also I feel software really got short shrift in this book as well as the NeXT years.
 
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