After mounting a campaign earlier this year to burnish the legend of Steve Jobs, Apple insiders will likely be tearing out what’s left of their hair when a new biopic is released in October.
The first official trailer released yesterday for Steve Jobs depicts the legend in full jerk mode. Humiliating employees, alienating cofounder Steve Wozniak, and denying paternity of his daughter, Lisa.
Starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs and Seth Rogen as Wozniak, every frame of the two-minute trailer shows us an arrogant, smug Jobs.
The portrayal shouldn’t be surprising given that the script was written by Aaron Sorkin and is based on Walter Isaacson’s biography of the Apple guru.
Sorkin gleefully twisted the backstory of Facebook cofounder Mark Zuckerberg a few years ago when he penned the script for The Social Network. That film showed Zuckerberg as a misogynistic ass who created Facebook because he was a rejected by a woman, and then proceeded to stab every other friend in the back as he clawed his way to the top of a giant pile of money. Where he sat sad and alone.
As for Isaacson’s bio, earlier this year Apple executives began trashing that book as too focused on Jobs’ flaws and temper. Instead, they began publicly championing a new biography released earlier this year, Becoming Steve Jobs, written by journalists Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli.
This book focused more on the lessons Jobs learned after leaving Apple and how it made his second stint as Apple CEO so successful. Though it touched on some of those flaws, overall it gave us the kinder, gentler Jobs. Or at least a more complete picture, according to Apple insiders.
But with endless trailers and publicity for the new movie, evil Steve Jobs is back, and will likely be in our faces for months to come.
Probably the only thing that could make it worse is if the new biopic is a big hit. Actually, what would be worse from Apple’s perspective is if it gets Oscar nominations, like The Social Network did.
In which case, we’ll be talking and reading about Jobs’ tantrums and alienating behavior well into 2016. And beyond.