Although there have been several films and biographies written about Steve Jobs, the legendary cofounder and former CEO of Apple, depicting his life on screen wasn’t easy, according to director Danny Boyle.
The challenge, says Boyle, was making technology development seem exciting on screen.
“One of the problems [is], how do you depict genius?” he said during a Q&A session after a screening of the film in New York, which debuts this Friday. “You can’t endlessly show them writing algorithms.”
Boyle said that it’s all about the pacing of the dialogue and how the actors deliver it.
“Some of it is very dry when they’re saying it,” Boyle said. “But it’s like Shakespeare…you get people to say it out loud in the right rhythm.”
The movie features Michael Fassbender as Jobs; Kate Winslet as Joanna Hoffman, an early member of the Mac marketing team; Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak, Apple’s other cofounder and longtime friend of Jobs; and Jeff Daniels as John Sculley, the former CEO of Apple.
It’s not a traditional biopic, however. The film consists of three acts, each of which takes place before a major product launch. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin said didn’t want the movie to be a linear biography of Jobs’ entire life.
“What I didn’t want to do was a biopic, where we land on the greatest hits along the way,” he Sorkin said during the Q&A. “Even if you didn’t know that story, you know the structure of it.”