Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says the best Steve Jobs film is this 1999 made-for-TV movie


steve jobs ashton kutcher steve wozniak

Open Road Films, Getty Images

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak (inset) felt Ashton Kutcher's "Jobs" could've gone deeper.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is one of the few people who intimately knew Steve Jobs and Apple's journey to becoming the leader in personal computing devices.

So, Wozniak clearly has his take on whether Hollywood has gotten it right when it comes to how the 2013 feature film "Jobs" portrayed his late friend and business partner.

"I think that there were a lot of weaknesses about the 'Jobs' movie, the one with Ashton Kutcher, a lot of weaknesses from the screen writing and all, but I gave it a chance. I was hoping it would be a great movie," Wozniak said on a press call Wednesday for National Geographic Channel's upcoming episode of documentary series "American Genius" titled "Jobs vs. Gates."

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He continued, "['Jobs'] didn't get into the inner thinking of Steve Jobs, which the movie was about Steve Jobs."

Wozniak didn't believe the movie went deep enough into the character of Jobs' biggest rival, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, either.


"That one wasn't about Bill Gates, but it didn't get into how he worked inside and how he actually negotiated and worked on people and portrayed his ideas through," Wozniak explained. "It kind of shortened everything. It sort of had the outside Steve Jobs, the frill, the façade and done very well, but I wanted more. I want to really know what is behind this thinking that goes a step further than other people."

pirates of silicon valley tnt


From left, Anthony Michael Hall and Noah Wyle as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, respectively, on TNT's "Pirates of Silicon Valley."

But Wozniak said that he doesn't feel it's impossible for Hollywood dramatizations to get it right.

In fact, he pointed to TNT's 1999 original TV movie, "Pirates of Silicon Valley," which starred Noah Wyle and Anthony Michael Hall as Jobs and Gates, respectively, as a good example. 

"I absolutely feel that it can be captured and has been captured in drama style," he said. "One of the things is, yes, it not only captures inside of Steve Jobs. It's the events that occurred and what was their meaning in the development of computers and 'Pirates of Silicon Valley' was intriguing, interesting. I loved watching it."

Nominated for five Emmy awards in 1999, "Pirates" portrayed Jobs and Gates' lives from 1971-1997. It followed the duo from their formative college years to how their rivalry would impact and fuel the race to create the best personal computer and then to their alliance in 1997.


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"Every one of those incidences occurred and it occurred with the meaning that was shown in that TV movie, 'Pirates of Silicon Valley,'" adds Wozniak. "In the 'Jobs' movie, it was just like, I don't know, I felt like I'd eaten a big meal and I was still hungry. Somehow, I had not gotten what I tuned in for."

Although he has yet to watch Nat Geo's "American Genius: Jobs vs. Gates," Wozniak has high hopes.

"I think that this show will do a lot better at it," the 64-year-old inventor said. "I don't know if you can compare a National Geographic presentation to a feature movie, but I'm as anxious as anyone else to see it. I'm thinking that this one is going to turn out a lot better because first of all, you're starting out with National Geographic and a lot of credibility and things on the line they can't risk by trying to be overly dramatic or just take aside. I think it's more searching for the truth when it comes from National Geographic."

"American Genius: Jobs vs. Gates" premieres Monday, June 1 at 9 p.m. on National Geographic Channel.


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