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Sculley says Steve Jobs movie is “extraordinary entertainment” but depicts only one aspect of the man


Former Apple CEO John Sculley has told the WSJ that the Sorkin/Boyle movie Steve Jobs is “extraordinary entertainment” but depicts only one side of Jobs’ personality.

It’s extraordinary entertainment, [but] was really taking one aspect of Steve Jobs’s personality.

Part of his personality was he was a passionate perfectionist, but there were so many other parts […] The young Steve Jobs that I knew had a great sense of humor. He was on many occasions, when we were together, very warm. He cared a lot about the people he worked with and he was a good person. So, I think those aren’t the aspects that are focused on in this movie … 

Echoing comments made by Steve Wozniak, Andy Hertzfeld and others, Sculley says that the film takes a lot of liberties with the facts.

While the movie depicts two subsequent encounters between Jobs and Sculley after Jobs left Apple, in reality, there was only one. Sculley declines to reveal what Jobs said at that meeting, but he says of the film’s depiction, “There was a lot of creative license taken.”

The WSJ recently reported that Steve’s widow Laurene Powell Jobs repeatedly tried to block production of the movie. Apple, too, has been making efforts to persuade staff that there was more to Steve than is depicted in the Sorkin/Boyle biopic. Tim Cook emailed staff inviting them to ask those who knew Jobs to ask about what he was really like, and the company shared with employees some out-takes which show a relaxed and joking Jobs in the run-up to the launch of the iPhone.

The movie begins its general release on Friday on both east and west coasts, gradually rolling out nationwide between then and 23rd October.

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  1. Jake Becker - 7 years ago

    Our culture isn’t very good at accepting whole human beings.

  2. Samuel A. Maffei - 7 years ago

    A lot of the biopics depict Sculley as a spineless shill of Apple’s board of directors. I guess we’re not supposed to believe any of that either. I bet this film doesn’t flatter Sculley either, that’s why he’s out there pushing back.

    I read Isaacson’s biography of Jobs (which this film is loosely based on) and it did depict him at times as an abusive, meglomaniacal a-hole. No one balked then. I really think the only reason people are protesting this film is because it’s got Oscar buzz and is going to be hugely successful.

    • Jake Becker - 7 years ago

      Yes, because it’s a shame with that amount of success everybody will be seeing or be introduced to a version of the story told with heavy creative license, and not care to know the difference.

  3. This is a great video that shows the real Steve Jobs in an old marketing speech


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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