In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter (via the Guardian), Pixar President Ed Catmull has criticized Danny Boyle’s movie about Steve Jobs. You may already know that Catmull launched Pixar with Steve Jobs and John Lasseter in 1986, so he actually skipped watching the latest Steve Jobs movie. However, he still has an opinion about it.
I think he’d [Steve Jobs] be appalled. And they actually can’t tell the story because the story’s wrong. He went through an arc in his life. There was a time the way he worked with people was not good, and I saw that when I first worked with him. But people look at that dramatic part, and they’ll make a movie about that — and that’s not the story. That was the beginning of a more interesting and complex story because when he left Apple, he then entered into what really is the classic hero’s journey: He’s wandering in the wilderness, he’s working with NeXT, it’s not working. He’s working with Pixar, we’re failing. In that process, Steve learned some major lessons, and he changed. He became an empathetic person, and we all saw this when [the Walter Isaacson book] was being written. Nobody’s going to psychoanalyze Steve while he was alive. That aspect of the change of Steve was missed. That’s the real story.
His opinion seems to reflect that of Apple executives. Even former Apple CEO John Sculley had mixed feelings about the movie, as detailed in a previous interview.
We must add that, as Aaron Sorkin has pointed out countless times, this movie isn’t a biopic, but an impressionistic image of the iconic Apple co-founder. Despite the wide media coverage, the movie has grossed barely $22 million after being made available worldwide, according to the latest data from Box Office Mojo.