London - A new biopic of Steve Jobs has prompted a row between Steve Wozniak, Apple's co-founder and Ashton Kutcher, the actor who stars as the technology pioneer.
Jobs, directed by Joshua Michael Stern, follows its subject's journey from California college drop-out to the digitised revolution heralded by the 2001 unveiling of Apple's globe-conquering iPod.
The film, which opened in the US last weekend, tells how Jobs joined forces with his friend Steve Wozniak (Josh Gad) to construct the first Apple computer in Jobs's parents' garage.
But Mr Wozniak posted a dismissive review on the discussion page of the technology website Gizmodo. “One friend who is in the movie said he didn't want to watch fiction, so he wasn't interested in seeing it,” Mr Wozniak wrote.
The Apple co-founder criticised Kutcher, who has claimed to be a “kindred spirit” of Jobs. “I suspect a lot of what was wrong with the film came from Ashton's own image of Jobs,” he wrote.
Kutcher has questioned Mr Wozniak's motives and claimed he is “being paid by another movie studio to help support their Steve Jobs film”. Mr Wozniak was “extremely unavailable to us when producing this film,” the star said.
Mr Wozniak is reported to have met with Aaron Sorkin, who is adapting Walter Isaacson's official biography of the late Apple chief, who died in 2011 from cancer complications.
But Mr Wozniak called Kutcher's statements “disingenuous and wrong”. Mr Wozniak criticised the film's accuracy - “I felt bad for many people I know well who were portrayed wrongly in their interactions with Jobs and the company” - and argued its portrayal of Jobs is too flattering, since it ascribes to him a business and technology genius which he did not always possess.
“The movie ends pretty much where the great Jobs finally found product success and changed so many of our lives,” Mr Wozniak wrote. “I'm grateful to Steve for his excellence in the i-era, but this movie portrays him having had those skills in earlier times.”
Stern's film has been accused of propagating the “myth” of Jobs's untouchable genius. Kutcher said his take on Jobs “isn't always a flattering portrayal”. The film includes examples of his arrogance and temperamental behaviour around colleagues.
A British release date for the film has yet to be announced, but so far it has failed to impress critics or moviegoers during its opening weekend in the US, grossing just $6.7m. - The Independent