How did Steve Jobs’ biographer like the new movie?

October 9, 2015, 4:08 PM UTC
Courtesy of Simon & Schuster

Sony reportedly paid somewhere between $1 million and 3 million for the rights to Walter Isaacson’s “Steve Jobs,” the only biography written with Jobs’ approval and cooperation.

The movie that opens today in L.A. and New York is only loosely based on Isaacson’ text. “Screenplay by Aaron Sorkin… working from Walter Isaacson’s best-selling biography” is how Universal now describes the relationship between the facts as Isaacson reported them and fiction as Sorkin imagined it.

Since none of them saw the film in advance, we can only suppose that the chilly reception Jobs’ loyalists have given it must stem, at least in part, to their discomfort with the facts that Isaacson reported.

Sorkin thinks that when they see the movie they will be “pleasantly surprised.”

Isaacson, for his part, doesn’t seem bothered that liberties were taken with his reporting. Here’s what he told Fortune:

I think the movie is brilliantly written by Aaron Sorkin and powerfully acted, adding up to a memorable impressionistic work that breaks from the confines of being a literal biopic.

Follow Philip Elmer-DeWitt on Twitter at @philiped. Read his Apple (AAPL) coverage at or subscribe via his RSS feed.

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