“jOBS,” starring “Two and a Half Men” actor Ashton Kutcher as the tech and computer entrepreneur who revolutionized the way people listen to music and built Apple Inc into an international powerhouse, got a red carpet roll-out at the Sundance Film Festival ahead of a U.S. national release in April.
“jOBS’ chronicles 30 defining years of the late Apple chairman, from an experimental youth to the man in charge of one of the world’s most recognized brands. It is the first of two U.S. feature films about Jobs, who died in 2011 at age 56.
“Everybody has their own opinion about Steve Jobs, and they have something invested in a different part of his story. So the challenge is to decide what part of his story to tell, and not disenfranchise anybody,” director Josh Stern told Reuters ahead of the screening.
“Hazarding a guess and venturing into too much speculation is always dangerous, especially with a character who is so well-known...,” Stern added.
Kutcher, 34, said on Friday he was honored to play Jobs but also terrified because of the former Apple chairman’s iconic status.
“To be playing a guy who so freshly is in people’s minds, where everywhere you go you can run into people who met him or knew him or had seen a video of him ... that’s terrifying because everyone is an appropriate critic,” Kutcher told Reuters.
“Everyone can tear you apart. Everyone can look at any detail, a piece of clothing or a speech pattern and go ‘No, no, this is not what it was,’ and that’s really scary,” the actor said.
Wrong personalities, wrong tie
Hours before the screening, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said the movie appeared to misrepresent aspects of both his own and Jobs’ personalities and their early vision for the company.
Wozniak was commenting after seeing a brief clip of an early scene that was released online on Thursday.
“Totally wrong. ... The ideas of computers affecting society, did not come from Jobs,” Wozniak, who co-founded Apple with Jobs and Ronald Wayne in a California garage in 1976, told technology blog Gizmodo.com.
“The lofty talk came much further down the line,” Wozniak said in a series of emails.
Wozniak, who is played in the movie by “Book of Mormon” musical star Josh Gad, said that, based on the clip, “personalities are very wrong, although mine is closer.” He also said he never wore a tie in the early days.
But Wozniak added that “the movie should be very popular and I hope it’s entertaining. It may be very correct, as well. This is only one clip.”
Kutcher said he hoped Wozniak would look more kindly on the movie when he had seen the whole two hours.
“I hope that when he sees the film, he feels that he was portrayed accurately, that the film accurately represents who he was and how he was, and more importantly, inspires people to go and build things,” he said.
“jOBS” will be released in U.S. movie theaters on April 19.
A second movie, based on Walter Isaacson’s official biography “Steve Jobs,” is being developed by screenplay writer Aaron Sorkin of “The West Wing” and “The Social Network” fame. No release date or casting has been announced.
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