In a Hollywood battle over real-life tech that may say as much about the state of the movies as how angry Steve Wozniak is right now, Steve Jobs's right-hand man is doing some posthumous fuming over the first of two biopics about the main Apple genius — and the Ashton Kutcher vehicle is biting back.
After a brief scene of the first Jobs movie (which is actually called jOBS and comes out April 19) emerged on Thursday, in which Josh Gad plays Woz and Kutcher does his best Jobs, Wozniak took to Gizmodo — in immediate reaction and then in detail — to explain the clip's inaccuracy. And the Apple co-founder's complaints ran deep: the event in that scene never happened, the scene misconstrues Woz's work, he never dressed like that, and on and on. Now, Entertainment Weekly has a comment from the film's publicist defending the movie:
The film is not a documentary, nor is it meant to be a blow by blow, word for word account of all conversations and events. The filmmakers have tremendous admiration and respect for Wozniak and all those that are portrayed in the film, and did extensive research in an effort to make an entertaining accurate film that captures the essence and story of Steve Jobs and those that built Apple with him.
The publicist continues, explaining that the film is "entertainment." We've heard these arguments before — cough, cough Zero Dark Thirty — and Wozniak himself admitted to Gizmodo in a third response that he understands the concept that narrative non-fiction — cough, cough Argo — is becoming more popular in Hollywood these days.
The movie should be very popular and I hope it's entertaining. It may be very correct, as well. This is only one clip. But you'll see the direction they are slanting the movie in, just by the dialog style of this script.
But Hillary Busis at Entertainment Weekly went on to point out something notable: Wozniak is involved in the other Steve Jobs movie that's in the works. That's the one based on Walter Isaacson's official Jobs biography, which Aaron Sorkin is currently adapting. Back in May, Reuters reported that Sorkin said Wozniak was hired by Sony as a "tutor" to help with tech and Jobs-related questions. So while Wozniak says he "hopes" that jOBS is entertaining, the next Steve Jobs movie has a leg up on the accuracy question, even if Sorkin says he's trying to break the mold: "It can't be a straight ahead biography because it's very difficult to shake the cradle-to-grave structure of a biography," Sorkin said in May. Let's not forget that Sorkin wrote another movie about the tech world which was met with accuracy complaints, but was ultimately regarded as an entertaining, good movie, regardless of its truthfulness. So, Woz, what's your verdict on The Social Network?
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.