updated 09:00 pm EDT, Tue June 25, 2013
Worries that Jobs to be shown as 'a saint' even in earliest days
Steve Wozniak, the legendary engineer and co-founder of Apple who earlier made some harsh remarks on the forthcoming independent film Jobs based on a pre-released scene, has softened his tone on the film starring Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs and Josh Gad as Woz. He still worries, however, that Jobs will be portrayed as always having been a visionary "saint" who was always right, rather than "one of the key people who led Apple through failure after failure" before coming back to Apple as a more mature leader.
Woz said that now having seen the trailer for the film (but not as of yet the film itself), he feels "okay with how it showed me," but expressed concern that other characters like former CEO John Sculley and early investor Mike Markkula are "wildly exaggerated in ways that tend to portray them as sleazy or something. In fact, they both had the same high ideals of where computers could lead us as Steve did," he told Gizmodo. He added that he allows "a lot of artistic interpretation for the sake of entertainment and inspiration, as long as the implied meanings of the scenes are accurate. I can't judge that until I see the film."
Wozniak had previously criticized a short scene from the film where the two men argue over the meaning of personal computers to society in a garage. In the scene, Jobs seems to grasp what the invention of a "personal" computer could mean for society while Wozniak is more interested in the hobbyist level of technology. Kutcher and Gad subsequently addressed such criticism, saying that while the film is fictionalized in parts and uses standard dramatic license to compress events, it was done with great respect and love for Jobs, Wozniak and the impact they had on technology and society.
Woz originally panned it, saying the "personalities are very wrong" and that the ideas of computers affecting society "did not come from Jobs," and were widely spoken of at the Homebrew Computer Club, a gathering of enthusiasts Woz brought Jobs into. "He didn't start talking about this great social impact," Woz recalled. "His idea was to make a $20 PC board and sell it for $40 to help people at the club build the computer I had given away."
While he did give Jobs great credit for his many contributions to Apple in his later years (upon his return to the company in 1996), he pointed out that the company had a lot of failures under Jobs (the Apple III, the Lisa, and the early Macintosh) while the company's revenue was being provided by the Apple ][ "that Jobs was trying to kill. It's nice to have the luxury to fail. The Macintosh market was created in the three years after Jobs left, with a lot of effort, by some whom Jobs disdained. We truly could have used the later Jobs in the earlier years at Apple is what I feel."
Jobs opens in cinemas on August 16, becoming the first biopic on the Apple co-founder to reach theaters. The latest trailer for the film can be seen below. Another film about Jobs, written by Aaron Sorkin and produced by Sony Pictures, is in pre-production.