Yesterday saw the first clip from the upcoming Steve Jobs biopic starring Ashton Kutcher as Jobs and Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak. The full film will be premiering at the Sundance Film Festival later today and is set for a wider theatrical release in April.
BACKGROUND: First-look clip of Ashton Kutcher as Steve Jobs
But onto the clip, where we see an impassioned Jobs - played rather skillfully by Kutcher - having a discussion with Woz. I have to admit, I was pleasantly blown away with how spot-on Kutcher's Job impersonation is. He really nails Jobs voice inflection and mannerisms down to a tee.
In the clip, Jobs (played by Ashton Kutcher) is raving about the operating system that Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (played by Josh Gad) created. While Jobs is certain that this will become a ubiquitous product for mass consumption, Wozniak needs convincing.
“Nobody wants to buy a computer,” says Wozniak.
“How does somebody know what they want if they’ve never even seen it?” Jobs replies.
So far so good, right?
Well not so fast.
Following the release of the above clip, Wozniak sent an email to Gizmodo telling them that the clip is way off base, to the extent that it never even occurred!
Totally wrong. Personalities and where the ideas of computers affecting society did not come from Jobs. They inspired me and were widely spoken at the Homebrew Computer Club. Steve came back from Oregon and came to a club meeting and didn't start talking about this great social impact. His idea was to make a $20 PC board and sell it for $40 to help people at the club build the computer I'd given away. Steve came from selling surplus parts at HalTed he always saw a way to make a quick buck off my designs (this was the 5th time).
The lofty talk came much further down the line.
I never looked like a professional. We were both kids. Our relationship was so different than what was portrayed. I'm embarrassed but if the movie is fun and entertaining, all the better. Anyone who reads my book iWoz can get a clearer picture.
In a follow up email Woz added:
The movie should be very popular and I hope it's entertaining. It may be very correct, as well. This is only one clip. But you'll see the direction they are slanting the movie in, just by the dialog style of this script.
I never wore a tie back then. I wore blue jeans and the same style blue button-up shirt every day of my life. I was not like a professional in demeanor ever.
Here is a reply I gave to someone on Facebook a few minutes ago:
The fact that it didn't happen is unimportant. The important thing is whether the meaning portrayed is correct.
It's ok to make up a dramatic scene but is much better if it sort of happened and had the meaning portrayed. But this is only one short clip of the movie. The entire movie may be very good. But the initial exposure to the social meaning of a technology revolution went in a very different direction in those early times.
Woz goes on to say that if the movie were truly trying to be authentic, it would depict Woz at the Homebrew Computer Club being "inspired by liberal humanist academics from Berkeley and Stanford." Jobs, meanwhile, would have been out of the picture initially.
Not all that surprising for anyone familiar with the Apple story, but then again, the movie is called JOBS and not WOZ, so dramatic creations are to be expected I suppose.
Wox finally adds:
In fact, when Steve came down and came to the club and saw the interest, he did not propose making a computer. Rather, he suggested we make a PC board so that others could build my computer easier. This PC board is just a component, like the ones Steve would sell at Haltek, a surplus electronics store. By the way, the Apple I was the 5th time I designed something just for fun that Steve found a way to turn into money, and the Apple ][ was the 6th time. We always split the proceeds.