Wozniak on Jobs' Biopic: 'Young Steve Wasn't a Saint'

The first trailer of the upcoming Steve Jobs' biopic starring Ashton Kutcher is here. I asked Steve Wozniak—close friend of Steve Jobs and Apple co-founder—about it. Here's what he said:

About Jobs' portrayal

I have a little bug in me that says that this movie will portray Steve as a saint who was ignored, rather than one of the key people who led Apple through failure after failure (Apple ///, LISA, Macintosh) while the revenues poured in from the Apple ][ that Jobs was trying to kill. It's nice to have the luxury to fail. The Macintosh market was created in the 3 years after Jobs left, with a lot of effort, by some who Jobs disdains.

Jobs came back as the saint and god we now recognize and did then head the creation of other products as great as the Apple ][, like the iTunes store, the iPod, the retail stores, the iPhone and the iPad. But he was a different person, more experienced and more thoughtful and more capable of running Apple in those later years.

We truly could have used the later Jobs in earlier years at Apple, is what I feel.


About him and the supporting characters

I was ok with how it showed me, unlike the first preview.

Other characters like Sculley and Markkula are wildly exaggerated in ways that tend to portray them as sleazy or something. In fact, they both had the same high ideals of where computers could lead us as Steve did.

As for the film itself, Woz is open about it: "I allow a lot of artistic interpretation for the sake of entertainment and inspiration, as long as the implied meanings of the scenes are accurate. I can't judge that until I see the film."

His reaction to the first clip and the script were not a good sign, however. He believed the interaction between him and his friend wasn't even close to reality:

Not close...we never had such interaction and roles...I'm not even sure what it's getting at...personalities are very wrong although mine is closer... it's 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.


The trailer seems to hit all the key events in Jobs' authorized and unauthorized biographies—like Walter Isaacson's appalling Steve Jobs or Michael Moritz's excellent Return to the Little Kingdom. There is plenty of the legendary personal stuff—his year at Reed College, India, his first serious love affair, his first and ignored daughter, and his LSD experiences—and all of the business drama—the rise of Apple, John Sculley's treason, Jobs' exile to NeXT and Pixar, and his triumphant return to Cupertino more than a decade later.


Of course, any trailer can make any movie look great, but at least we now know that his one has some nice-ish moments. The Apple fan legion will probably be happy as they wait for the allegedly better Jobs' biopic, written by Aaron Sorkin, author of The Social Network and The West Wing's creator.


Oh, and one more thing: they changed that stupid jOBS title to just Jobs.

You're reading Front, the showcase of the very best, must-see stories and discussions in Gawker Media blogs and the Kinja universe. Follow us on Twitter.

Woz will be in the comments later tonight if his busy schedule allows him.




Am I the only person who thinks Woz is the coolest? He seems so completely without pretense. And happy. And normal. Think he dated Kathy Griffin. Can you get more real/cool/self-effacing than that (not knock on Griffin - testament to his realness).