LOS ANGELES, USA – The life and times of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs will be shown on the big screen next week as the first of two planned biopics about the visionary computer guru.
Almost two years after Jobs lost his long battle with cancer, “Jobs,” starring Ashton Kutcher as the iconic computer industry titan, will be released Friday, August 17.
The independent film opens ahead of a bigger-budget project on Jobs that Sony is putting together with the support of Apple’s other co-founder, Steve Wozniak.
“Jobs” was screened at the prestigious Sundance International Film Festival early this year where it received a lukewarm reception from critics.
The film charts Jobs’ early life, including his famous launch of Apple in a garage in 1976, to his triumphant return to the company in 1996 after earlier being ousted by a boardroom coup.
Directed by Joshua Michael Stern from a script by Matt Whiteley, “Jobs” paints a broadly favorable portrait of the man who gave the world such groundbreaking gadgets as the iPod and iPad.
But the film also touches on the more controversial chapters of his life, including his abrupt breakup with his pregnant girlfriend and his later refusal to acknowledge his paternity.
At the annual MacWorld/iWorld conference in San Francisco in January, Kutcher said he was intimidated by the part.
“Playing a guy which everyone will have judgment of or criticism about was really, really scary,” the 35-year-old actor said.
Kutcher, an avowed geek who has also invested in a slew of technology start-ups, spent hours poring over old videos of Jobs in an effort to replicate the Apple chieftain’s mannerisms and voice.
He also got into character by adopting Jobs’ strict diet of eating and drinking only fruit and carrot juice — a regimen that led to excruciating pain and a trip to the hospital two days before the start of filming.
Watch the ‘Jobs’ trailer here:
Kutcher’s film has, however, been greeted coolly by Apple co-founder Wozniak, who takes exception to certain scenes, including the one with Jobs outlining his grand vision for computers.
“Steve is lecturing me about where computers could go, when it was the other way around,” Wozniak told the “Los Angeles Times.”
“Steve never created a great computer. In that period, he had failure after failure after failure. He had an incredible vision, but he didn’t have the ability to execute on it,” he said.
“I would be surprised if the movie portrays the truth.”
“A couple things you have to understand. One, Steve Wozniak is being paid by another movie studio to help support their Steve Jobs film, so he’s gonna have an opinion that is connected to that, somewhat.
“Two, the biggest criticism that I’ve ultimately heard is that he wanted it to be represented — his contribution to Apple — fairly. And, in all fairness, the movie’s called ‘Jobs.’ And it’s about Steve Jobs and the legacy of Steve Jobs, and so I think it focuses more … on what his contribution to Apple was.”
Sony and Wozniak’s movie will be based on the Apple co-founder’s official biography by Walter Isaacson.
Hollywood heavyweight screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (“The Social Network”) will adapt the book for the Sony film.
Sorkin has indicated that he plans to tell the story of Jobs in 3 phases, tied to 3 of the inventor’s best known products.
The director and the lead actor have yet to be picked. – Rappler.com
Steve Jobs photo by bloomua from Shutterstock