Steve Jobs’s Ego Gets Large Role in Universal Biopic’s Trailer

A biopic of Steve Jobs set for release in October pulls no punches in its depiction of Apple Inc.’s co-founder.

The first full trailer of the Universal Pictures movie, based on the Walter Isaacson biography and written by Aaron Sorkin, depicts the leader as a tyrant with a god complex, disavowing his daughter and getting fired. In one scene, a fire marshal threatens to shut down an Apple presentation.

“If a fire causes a stampede to the unmarked exits it will have been well worth it for those who survived,” Jobs responds.

“Steve Jobs” has been beset by controversy, marked by infighting between Sony Pictures executives and producer Scott Rudin, who ultimately took the project to Comcast Corp.’s Universal film division. The disputes were revealed in Sony e-mails leaked by hackers in November.

Casting details also became public, with Michael Fassbender chosen for the lead role after the filmmakers considered Leonardo DiCaprio and Christian Bale, who pulled out. The Culver City, California-based entertainment division of Sony Corp. also discussed Tom Cruise for the role, leaked e-mails revealed. Sorkin initially objected to Fassbender.

“Steve Jobs,” directed by Danny Boyle, also features a brunette Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, the former Macintosh marketing chief, and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak. It’s set behind the scenes of three product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac. Jobs died in 2011.

Jobs Versus Woz

In the trailer revealed Wednesday, Wozniak fights with Jobs over how little he thinks his partner has contributed to the creation of the computer.

“Ten times a day I read ‘Steve Jobs is a genius.’ What do you do?” Wozniak asks.

Sony Pictures grew disenchanted with “Steve Jobs” as the projected costs rose and after DiCaprio dropped out, the e-mails show. The studio had been working for three years on a film adaptation of Isaacson’s 2011 biography before losing it to Universal.

At least five actors have played Jobs, including Ashton Kutcher and Noah Wyle. He was satirized by Michael McDonald on MADtv in a skit about the iRack, and by Fred Armisen on “Saturday Night Live.”

The movie, co-produced by Legendary Pictures, will be released on Oct. 9, a popular time for awards contenders.

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