At this rate, we'll soon have as many actors playing Apple co-founder Steve Jobs on the big screen as we do actors who've played Spider-Man. Though if the trailer for the latest Jobs biopic is anything to go by, that's not necessary a bad thing.
Universal Pictures released the first full trailer for its Steve Jobs movie today (July 1). (An earlier teaser trailer, featuring actor Michael Fassbender donning Jobs's trademark black mock turtleneck, debuted back in May.) This first extended look at the biopic, which is slated for an October 9 release in the U.S., paints Apple's co-founder as brilliant visionary who seems just as capable as feuding with colleagues and board members as he was developing revolutionary products.
Probably the highlight of the new trailer is Steve Wozniak, played by Seth Rogen, confronting his co-founder about their contributions to Apple. "You're not an engineer. You're not a designer. You can't put a hammer to a nail. I built the circuit board. The graphical interface was stolen," Rogen says. "So how come, 10 times in a day, I read that 'Steve Jobs is a genius?' What do you do?" Fassbender's Jobs replies: "Musicians play their instruments. I play the orchestra." Other parts of the trailer touch on Jobs's fraught relationships with co-workers and his estranged daughter.
If you're struck by a sense of deja vu, wondering whether you've already sat through a movie about Steve Jobs, don't worry: You're probably thinking of 2013's Jobs. That movie starred Ashton Kutcher as Apple's once and future CEO, and it failed to make much of an impact on either critics or at the box office. Reviewing that movie two years ago, I called it a paint-by-numbers affair that offered little insight into Jobs's life or impact. As far as Steve Jobs-based movies go, this latest one doesn't have that high a bar to clear.
The new movie, directed by Oscar-winner Danny Boyle with a screenplay from fellow Oscar-winner Aaron Sorkin, takes a different approach than your standard biopic. It will reportedly center around three product launches that Jobs oversaw -- the Mac, the NeXT Cube and the original iMac -- and less on the Apple co-founder's well-documented life story. The movie is based on Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, published just after the tech luminary's death in 2011.
The contents of the new trailer, in which Fassbender's Jobs clashes with those around him, is interesting, given how Apple executives reacted to Isaacson's book. Jonathan Ive, Apple's senior vice president of design and a close friend of Jobs, told the New Yorker that the biography was filled with inaccuracies: "My regard couldn't be any lower," he said. Tim Cook, who succeeded Steve Jobs as Apple's CEO, said the Isaacson book did Jobs "a tremendous disservice." Based on the combative portrayal of Jobs in the trailer, don't expect Apple executives to be lining up for a private screening when the movie premieres.
In addition to Fassbender and Rogen -- both of whom the film has made little effort to look like their real-life counterparts -- Steve Jobs features Jeff Daniels as John Sculley and Kate Winslet as original Mac team member Joanna Hoffman.