Steve Jobs screenwriter Aaron Sorkin says his “conscience is clear” over accusations that his movie doesn’t portray events as they actually happened.
People have been split over the Steve Jobs movie, with some (like Woz, John Sculley, and Andy Hertzfeld) saying it’s a great achievement, and others (Tim Cook, Jony Ive, Laurene Powell Jobs) arguing just the opposite — despite not necessarily having seen it.
What no-one has disputed, however, is the fact that the movie takes a few liberties with the Steve Jobs story, in favor of making the three-act movie structure work in the way that it does.
In a new interview at the European premiere of the movie at this weekend’s London film festival, Sorkin acknowledged that some structural gymnastics were necessary to create the screenplay he wanted to write.
“Steve Jobs did not, as far as I know, have confrontations with the same six people 40 minutes before every product launch. That is plainly a writer’s conceit. But I do think that the movie gets at some larger truths, some more important truths than what really went on during the 40 minutes before product launches, which I don’t think was the stuff of drama. What you see is a dramatisation of several personal conflicts that he had in his life, and they illustrate something, they give you a picture of something. Are they fair? I do believe they’re fair. My conscience is clear.”
It’s an interesting question that I think is a long way from being settled. On the one hand, I totally appreciate that explaining complex events (like, you know, the life of one of the most significant businessmen of the last century) requires some simplification to make sense as a movie. On the other, why make up confrontations and drama where none existed — or there were real clashes which could have been dramatized?
Have you been to see, or are you planning to see, the Steve Jobs movie any time soon? Leave your comments below.