Steve Jobs, the movie, will be released in theaters everywhere Friday at midnight, and much of the controversy behind the film is surfacing once again, most notably, how Jobs’s widow tried to stop it from ever being produced. The film serves as a highly controversial biography in which the creators, Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin, dug up some of Jobs’s rather unpleasant character traits.
The film highlights the major trials and tribulations that came with one of the world’s most impactful technology innovators. To play such a heavy role, the filmmakers considered casting Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale before finally deciding on Michael Fassbender. The film also worked its way through two directors, starting out with David Fincher, and then moving on to Danny Boyle. The production of the film was originally with Sony Pictures, but it soon moved on to Universal Studios.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Steve Jobs’s widow could have played a major role in DiCaprio, Bale, Fincher, and Sony’s decisions to abandon the project.
“Laurene Powell Jobs pressured Leonardo DiCaprio, Christian Bale, and every studio in Hollywood to not make the movie,” the Reporter states.
This information comes from an interview performed with four of the key players in the film’s production, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Danny Boyle, and Aaron Sorkin. The stars reported that Daniel Boyle mentioned having difficulties with both Laurene and Tim Cook during production. “They haven’t helped,” Boyle stated. “There’s been some tough moments. I’m not going to go into them.”
One of the actors also reported, “Since the very beginning, Laurene Jobs has been trying to kill this movie, OK? Laurene Jobs called Leo DiCaprio and said, ‘Don’t do it.’ Laurene Jobs called Christian Bale and said, ‘Don’t [do it].’ “
It was also revealed that Sony’s decision not to distribute the movie was largely a result of Laurene making some calls as well. Sources indicated that Amy Pascal, the producer, was trying to secure funding for the Sony version of the film, but she couldn’t get any cash flow because Laurene knew too many people.
Laurene plays no part in the film, perhaps because she wouldn’t let it happen. It does, however, feature Jobs’s daughter from a previous relationship, Lisa Brennan-Jobs. Lisa did agree to meet with Sorkin to aid in the movie’s creation.
“We met three or four times for several hours,” Sorkin reported. “And through these meetings, I began to identify points of friction between some of these people and Steve.”
The film centers on a terrible relationship between Steve and Lisa. Jobs only chose to acknowledge Lisa several years after her birth, believing that she wasn’t really his child. The friction between Jobs and Lisa is speculated to be part of the reason Laurene didn’t want the film to be made. She believed it made him look inhumane and cruel, an image she doesn’t want her late husband to be remembered for.
Tim Cook also played a role in trying to show Steve in a better light in the movie. He called the current Steve Jobs movie, the 2013 Ashton Kutcher film,Jobs, and the documentary by Alex Gibney, Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, “opportunistic,” referring to the fact that filmmakers were trying to capitalize on the Apple CEO’s untimely death.
Sorkin retaliated immediately in an email, “If you’ve got a factory full of children in China assembling phones for 17 cents an hour, you’ve got a lot of nerve calling someone else opportunistic.” Later, he amended his statement, apologizing for the harsh and untrue words.
In an attempt to remind Apple employees of how Steve Jobs really was, Cook asked that all branches of Apple be shown some footage of Jobs in a more relaxed setting, revealing him as a man that cared about his employees and all the hard work they do.
Laurene is a fairly private individual and has made no comments to confirm or deny the accusations that she tried to stop the movie, nor the reason that she allegedly took such great pains to prevent the film from ever seeing the light of day. Whatever her reasoning for trying to stop the film, it’s clear that she was unsuccessful. The Steve Jobs movie will open in theaters everywhere on Friday.
[Image via Alexandra Wyman/Getty Images]