Created by: Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
Directed by: Danny Boyle
Written by: Aaron Sorkin
Produced by: Danny Boyle, Guymon Casady, Christian Colson, Mark Gordon, Scott Rudin
Other cast: Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels
Release date: October 9, 2015
Running time: 122 minutes
Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicenter. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.
The three sequences in the film were filmed on 16mm, 35mm, and digital to illustrate the advancement in Apple’s technology across the sixteen years depicted of Jobs’ life.
The three-act film was shot in sequence. The actors spent four weeks on each act, rehearsing for two weeks and then filming for two weeks. Kate Winslet said that by act three, Michael Fassbender didn’t even have his script at the rehearsals, as he had memorized all one hundred eighty pages.
Michael Fassbender said in an interview that Christian Bale, who exited the project in November 2014, would have been perfect to play Steve Jobs. “I thought to myself: Christian Bale is perfect, why isn’t he doing it?” Fassbender told The Hollywood Reporter while promoting the film in London. “I actually called him up and told him that myself.”
Kate Winslet found out about the movie from her make-up artist while working on The Dressmaker (2015). The make-up artist just got hired for this movie, and told Winslet. Winslet said that she was intrigued by a movie written by Aaron Sorkin, directed by Danny Boyle, and starring Michael Fassbender, that she asked for more details about the female part. She later sent a picture of herself with a black wig, and then she got the script, and met with Boyle, which resulted in winning the part.
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was a consultant for the film.
David Fincher was originally attached to direct. Sony dropped him after he demanded a $10 million salary and full creative control of the project. Fincher wanted Christian Bale to play the lead role. After his departure, Danny Boyle signed on to direct, and Leonardo DiCaprio was approached about the title role. DiCaprio passed on the project, and it was offered to Christian Bale instead. Bale also declined, feeling he was not right for the part.
According to reports, auditions did not use anything from Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay. Instead, actors read and acted out scenes from The Newsroom (2012), a television series created by Sorkin.
Kate Winslet considers her role of Joanna Hoffman as one of her favorite performances, and this movie to be one of her favorite films of her own.
Aaron Sorkin revealed before the film’s official release that it would consist of three 30-minute scenes spread across 16 years of Steve Jobs life of. All of the scenes would dramatize backstage events before three major product launches (the Macintosh in 1984, NeXT in 1988, and the iMac in 1998). The scenes would take place in real time at “two auditoriums, a restaurant, and a garage,” with a few flashbacks depicting key moments of Jobs’ life inserted throughout the story.
Due to disappointing box-office performance, the movie was pulled from 2,072 theaters after just two weeks.
The film was set to hold a Paris premiere on November 16, 2015, at the UGC Ciné Cité Les Halles cinema in the presence of Danny Boyle. Following the November 13 terror attacks on the French capital, the premiere was maintained, but took place in Boyle’s absence.
The lead female role was also offered to Jessica Chastain.
The film takes place in 1984, 1988, and 1998.
Joanna Hoffman : You don’t think you’re having a bizarre overreaction to a nineteen-year-old girl allowing her mother to list her own house?
Steve Jobs : She could ‘a tried…
Joanna Hoffman : She’s supposed to stop her mother – that particular mother – from living…
Steve Jobs : She gave Chrisann her blessing to sell the house and she did it to spite me!
Joanna Hoffman : I don’t care if she put a pipe bomb in the water heater! You’re going to fix it now!
Steve Jobs : She’s been acting weird for months. She’s turned on me.
Joanna Hoffman : [knocks papers onto the floor] Fix it.
Steve Jobs : What the…
Joanna Hoffman : [knocks more papers onto the floor] Fix it, Steve.
Steve Jobs : Take it easy!
Joanna Hoffman : [knocks even more papers onto the floor] Fix it or I quit, how ’bout that? I quit and you never see me again, how ’bout that?
Steve Jobs : [concerned] Tell me what’s wrong with you this morning.
Joanna Hoffman : [has tears in her eyes] What’s been wrong with me for nineteen years. I have been a witness, and I tell you I’ve been complicit. I love you, Steve. You know how much. I love that you don’t care how much money a person makes; you care what they make. But what you make isn’t supposed to be the best part of you. When you’re a father… that’s what’s supposed to be the best part of you, and it’s caused me two decades of agony. Steve… that it is for you… the worst. It’s a little thing… it’s a very small thing. Fix it. Fix it now or you can contact me at my new job working anywhere I want.
Joanna Hoffman : I’m begging you to manage expectations.
Steve Jobs : Have I ever let you down?
Joanna Hoffman : Every single goddamn time.
Steve Jobs : Then I’m due.
Steve Jobs : What is your problem?
Joanna Hoffman : I don’t know, but I’m sure it can be traced directly back to you.
Joanna Hoffman : Please, you have to tell me why it’s so important for it to say “hello”.
Steve Jobs : Hollywood, they make computers scary things. See how this reminds you of a friendly face? That the disk slot is a goofy grin? It’s warm and it’s playful and it needs to say “hello”!
Joanna Hoffman : The computer in 2001 said “hello” all the time and it still scared the shit out of me.
Joanna Hoffman : I love that you don’t care how much money a person makes, you care what they make. But what you make isn’t supposed to be the part of you
Steve Jobs : Hey, Steve Wozniak is sitting out there. Give yourselves a treat and ask if he happens to have the correct time.
Joanna Hoffman : I have the correct time, and we’re running out of it.