Steve Jobs will soon be opening up to the world; Steve Jobs the movie that is. But, for now, it is making the film festival rounds and Oscar buzz is beginning, despite the film’s well-publicized, behind-the-scenes drama.
Ironically, the Oscar talk surrounding Steve Jobs is based primarily on the performance of Michael Fassbender, who plays Mr. Jobs in the film. The irony resides in the fact that Michael Fassbender wasn’t slated to play Steve Jobs. Director Danny Boyle wanted him, but others didn’t, the consensus being he wasn’t a big enough star to carry the big-budget picture. A long list of other actors were considered for the part.
Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, Tom Cruise, James Franco and Matthew McConaughey were all contenders for the role, according to Bloomberg. Emails released, after Sony was hacked, between writer Aaron Sorkin and then Sony Pictures Entertainment’s co-chairman Amy Pascal revealed the concern over Fassbender being cast.
“I don’t know who Michael Fassbender is, and the rest of the world isn’t going to care. This is insane,” Sorkin wrote to Pascal, according to Bloomberg.
Talk concerning a lack of resemblance between Steve Jobs and Fassbender circulated around the ‘net. But, after viewing the film, one critic determined that Fassbender’s performance would quiet those concerns.
“The amazing Fassbender, on screen every moment, transforms into Jobs. No matter that he scarcely resembles the man – he captures the essence. Count on Oscar nominations for him, Rogen and Winslet,” said Mara Reinstein in Us Weekly.
Steve Jobs was also the talk of Tinseltown regarding trouble on the set with actress Kate Winslet, who portrays Jobs’ “right-hand-man.” Rumors abounded that she wanted out of the film. Winslet was open about the challenges all of the actors faced in filming Steve Jobs, which more closely resembles a three-act play, focusing on the launch of three different products in three different time periods. It was shot in real time, unlike traditional filming.
“I had no trepidation whatsoever, and I knew that it was different. It wasn’t a biopic,” said Winslet in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “Just how it was constructed to me was so incredibly exciting, there was nothing to be trepidatious about.”
Winslet said she spent a lot of time with the real Joanna Hoffman to learn about her character, and study her speech and mannerisms.
“She was very, very generous with her stories. And I really just benefited from that, in particular, and working with her dialect, because I really wanted to capture how she spoke, how she sounded.”
Though Winslet looked to play her character authentically, the authenticity of the script itself had many who knew Steve Jobs up in arms, and less than happy about the release of the film.
Steve Jobs shows a darker side to Jobs that some are finding disturbing, calling it inaccurate and shaming Sorkin for embellishing on the life of someone whom to many, is an inspiration and almost guru-esque. Sorkin makes no excuses for his script; it is not a documentary. Creative licenses were used in its creation and director Danny Boyle agrees with them.
“The Truth is not necessarily in the facts, it’s in the feel,” said Boyle in an interview with The Wall Street Journal.
Some critics believe that the murky waters between fact and fiction upon which Steve Jobs has set it sails, works, in addition to its innovative format; and some think its broad appeal could carry it through award season.
“But you don’t have to care about Apple, or the actual Steve Jobs to get this film. That is because Aaron Sorkin has adapted Walter Isaacson’s best selling biography of Jobs into a three act play for film (which then, wisely, Boyle has made highly cinematic). So change Jobs’ name, it doesn’t matter, call him Frank or Ted. Sorkin has used elements of Jobs’ life and created a new structure,” said Roger Friedman on Showbiz411.
Steve Jobs is slated to open nationwide on October 23.
[Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images]