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  • Writer's pictureThomas Duncan

Steve Jobs (2015) ft. Mark W. Travis


  • Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs

  • Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman

  • Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak

  • Jeff Daniels as John Sculley

  • Katherine Waterston as Chrisann Brennan

  • Michael Stuhlbarg as Andy Hertzfeld

  • Makenzie Moss, Ripley Sobo, and Perla Haney-Jardine as Lisa Brennan-Jobs

  • Sarah Snook as Andrea "Andy" Cunningham

  • Adam Shapiro as Avie Tevanian

  • John Ortiz as Joel Pforzheimer


  • Steve Jobs was wide released on October 9, 2015.

  • The film would go on to make roughly $34.4 million on an estimated budget of $30 million. Allegedly, the film needed to gross an estimated $120 million in order to break-even.

  • Over the opening weekend, the film was originally projected to gross $11–12 million from 2,491 theaters. However, after grossing just $2.5 million on its first day, it was revised to $7.4 million. It ended up grossing $7.1 million, finishing seventh at the box office.

  • The reviews were roughly mixed at the time, but the majority were positive in highlighting both Michael Fassbender and Kate Winslet for their performances, and they would both go on to garner Oscar nominations for Actor and Supporting Actress for their parts.

  • Steve Jobs currently holds an 85% among critics on RT, an 82 score on Metacritic, and a 3.6/5 on Letterboxd.

What is this movie is about?/Elevator Pitch: The singular focus and blind faith needed to achieve at the highest levels.

Plot Summary: Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) is a driven, uncompromising, and difficult man at the head of Apple Computer, which he co-founded. At the same time, Jobs contests the paternity of Lisa, the daughter born to his ex-girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan (Katherine Waterston), and denies he is the father leaving both mother and daughter bitter over his denials and refusal to support her despite his wealth. Having developed the Apple Macintosh, the ineffective sales ultimately force Jobs out of the company, despite a warning from Apple CEO John Sculley (Jeff Daniels). Jobs ultimately returns to Apple with his marketing chief Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet) to reunite with Steven Wozniak (Seth Rogan) and unveil the iMac. While Jobs reconciles with Apple, will he do the same with Sculley and Lisa?

Did You Know:

  • 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 of Jobs' life depicted.

  • 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.

  • 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 in order to do The Revenant (2015), and it was offered to Bale instead. Bale also declined, feeling he was not right for the part.

  • 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."

  • 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.

  • Aaron Sorkin originally wanted Tom Cruise to play Steve Jobs.

Best Performance: Aaron Sorkin (Writer)/Michael Fassbender (Jobs)

Best Secondary Performance: Seth Rogen (Wozniak)/Michael Fassbender (Jobs)

Most Charismatic Award: Michael Fassbender (Jobs)/Steve Jobs

Best Scene:

  • Hello

  • Chrisann and Lisa

  • NeXT

  • Sculley v Jobs

  • Hertzfeld Pays Lisa's Tuition

  • Wozniak v Jobs

  • Sculley Makes Up With Jobs

  • Reconciliation

Favorite Scene: Wozniak v Jobs/Hello

Most Indelible Moment: Wozniak v Jobs/Macintosh/Joanna

In Memorium:

  • Dafydd Hywel, 77, Welsh actor (Coming Up Roses, Off to Philadelphia in the Morning, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children).

  • Paul Grant, 56, British actor (Return of the Jedi, Labyrinth, The Dead) and stuntman.

  • Peter Werner, 76, American film and television director (In the Region of Ice, Moonlighting, Grimm), Oscar winner (1976) for Best Live Action Short.

Best Lines/Funniest Lines:

Steve Wozniak: You can't write code... 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 from Xerox Parc. Jef Raskin was the leader of the Mac team before you threw him off his own project! Someone else designed the box! So how come ten times in a day, I read Steve Jobs is a genius? What do you do?

Steve Jobs: I play the orchestra, and you're a good musician. You sit right there and you're the best in your row.

Steve Jobs: I am poorly made.

Steve Wozniak: It's not binary. You can be decent and gifted at the same time.

Steve Jobs: God sent his only son on a suicide mission - but we like him anyway, because he made trees.

Andy Hertzfeld: We're not a pit crew at Daytona. This can't be fixed in seconds.

Steve Jobs: You didn't have seconds, you had three weeks. The universe was created in a third of that time.

Andy Hertzfeld: Well, someday you'll have to tell us how you did it.

Steve Jobs: I don't want people to dislike me. I'm indifferent to whether they dislike me.

Steve Jobs: The two most significant events of the twentieth century: the Allies win the war, and this.

Steve Jobs: I'm the evidence! I'm the world's leading expert on the Mac, John! What's your resume?

John Sculley: You're issuing contradictory instructions, you're insubordinate, you make people miserable, our top engineers are fleeing to Sun, Dell, HP, Wall Street doesn't know who's driving the bus, we've lost hundreds of millions in value and I'm the CEO of Apple, Steve, that's my resume!

Steve Jobs: But before that, you sold carbonated sugar water right? I sat in a fucking garage with Wozniak and invented the future, because artists lead and hacks ask for a show of hands.

Steve Jobs: What if the computer was a beautiful object? Something you wanted to look at and have in your home. And what if instead of it being in the right hands, it was in everyone's hands?

John Sculley: We'd be talking about the most tectonic shift in the status quo since...

Steve Jobs: ...ever.

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.

John Sculley: Why do people like you who were adopted feel like they were rejected instead of selected?

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.

Steve Jobs: They won't know what they're looking at or why they like it but they'll know they want it.

The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 5.33

Impact/Significance: 4.33

Novelty: 4.67

Classic-ness: 7.17

Rewatchability: 6.5

Audience Score: 7.65 (80% Google, 73% RT)

Total: 35.65

Remaining Questions:

  • Why has Aaron Sorkin decided to direct his own films now instead of working with talented filmmakers like Danny Boyle, Rob Reiner, and David Fincher?

  • Who deserves more credit for the success of Apple: Jobs or Wozniak?

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