The Steve Jobs biopic may have bombed at the box office, but the film’s director Danny Boyle appears to have a strange reason why, and his name is David Bowie.
On paper, a movie about the life of Apple godhead Steve Jobs was a license to print money. The turtleneck, bespectacled, button fearing genius, was not only directly responsible for the glorious dawn of the iPhone, he also led a pretty interesting life by the standards of a tenacious IT guy named Steve.
Lest we forget. It was an apple that was responsible for Adam and Eve getting kicked out of the Garden of Eden, an apple that fell on Sir Isaac Newton’s head and gave him the idea about something called the Universal Law of Gravitation, and an Apple which delivered us from the “evil” Samsung Galaxy.
Yet a film about a man who has become synonymous with the cheeky fruit had proved rotten to the core, as far as the movie going public are concerned, but why?
Cult of Mac revealed that the Steve Jobs film has earned less in its entire theatrical run than it was predicted to pick up in its opening weekend. Maybe $16,684,073 is a lot of dollar by anyone’s individual standards, but for a film of this magnitude, it’s a poor showing indeed.
In reality, Steve Jobs has sunk faster than a Korean smartphone. In some quarters, critics have blamed its underwhelming performance on the movie’s supposed inaccuracies and fabricated dialogue.
Yet screenwriter Aaron Sorkin has taken umbrage at such criticism and explained somewhat petulantly that, “The Sante Fe Operahouse is doing an opera on Steve Jobs for the 2017 season. People’s heads in Cupertino, CA are going to burst knowing that Steve Jobs wasn’t a tenor!”
“I think there’s been some confusion about the movie. There’s not a fact about Steve Jobs that has been distorted, perverted or invented except this: Steve Jobs didn’t have confrontations with five people 40 minutes before every product launch. That’s a writer’s conceit.”
Others, perhaps Samsung fans, have claimed that people’s lack of interest in the film is simply due to is its perceived negative portrayal of Steve Jobs. A man whose untimely death was met with an outpouring of grief usually reserved for a religious figure.
Some have even laid the blame clearly at the door of leading man Michael Fassbender. Claiming the earnest thespian lacks the pulling power to deliver the sort of knockout punch the Steve Jobs biopic requires.
Others have gone further and asked, “Who wants to watch a whole movie about some guy who invented the iPhone?”
Whatever the reason, despite courting early positive reviews from the critics, Steve Jobs the film has been pulled by Universal from 2,000 theaters and is now playing in just 421. On such a poor performance, if the film was a phone, it would probably be a Nokia.
Yet the directer of this doomed drama, Danny Boyle, would appear to have a bizarre reason for its failure, and it’s all to do with rejection. In particular, rejection from none other than the Thin White Duke himself, Mr David Bowie.
Prior to the Steve Jobs movie, Danny Boyle had been throwing himself into a musical film based on the life and career of the Man Who Fell to Earth with all the enthusiasm of a pop tart, only for Bowie himself to refuse the director the use of his music for the aforesaid film.
Reeling with grief, Boyle confessed to the Radio Times that he took up the reins of the Steve Jobs biopic to, “fill the space in my heart left by the abandoned Bowie script.”
On the rebound, and still perhaps nursing a Bowie obsession the size of a council house, it’s quite possible that Boyle may have not done the right thing by Steve Jobs and treated him like a sloppy second.
(Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)