Jobs: Ashton Kutcher hits back at Woz

Controversy. This is what we have today as Ashton Kutcher accuses Apple [AAPL] co-founder, Steve Wozniak, of being in the pay of another film studio as Woz's motivation to criticize his movie, Jobs.

Kutcher accuses Woz

As you see in the above video, Kutcher isn't mincing his words, saying:

"Woz is being paid by another company to support a different Steve Jobs film. It's personal for him, but it's also business. We have to keep that in mind."

Woz has gone on record to accuse the movie of inaccuracies in the way it characterized elements of the relationship between himself and Steve Jobs. For example, in a Gizmodo comment he wrote:

"Not close...we never had such interaction and roles...I'm not even sure what it's getting at...personalities are very wrong although mine is closer...don't forget that my purpose was inspired by the values of the Homebrew Computer Club along with ideas of the value of such machines and Steve J. wasn't around and didn't attend the club so he was the one learning about such social impact of the future."

In an email supplied to Gizmodo he also said:

"I never looked like a professional. We were both kids. Our relationship was so different than what was portrayed. I'm embarrassed but if the movie is fun and entertaining, all the better. Anyone who reads my book iWoz can get a clearer picture."

There may be more to these reports. Writing on Macworld The Macalope recently delivered a pretty good explanation of the bad blood between Gizmodo and all things Apple -- bad blood which extends all the way back to when the tech site made a huge great fortune in ads revenues when it published images of an unreleased iPhone. (For access to which it never fully paid, though that's beside the point.)

So long as they're talking...

Jobs the movie is perhaps inevitably already attracting a huge amount of controversy, critics love it or hate it while Apple watchers bemoan the things the movie didn't ship.

"What we get instead is a creative retelling that's inaccurate for those of us familiar with the tale and superficial for everyone else," writes Ken Gagne on Computerworld.

This may not entirely be the fault of the filmmakers. Kutcher tells SF Gate:

"He (Woz) was also extremely unavailable to us when producing this film. He’s a brilliant man and I respect his work, but he wasn’t available to us as a resource, so his account isn’t going to be our account because we don’t know exactly what it was. We did the best job we could. Nobody really knows what happened in the rooms."

It's all accusation so far, of course -- Steve Wozniak hasn't yet responded to these claims, which are also repeated within a Hollywood Reporter story, which adds that Woz is collaborating on Aaron Sorkin's studio treatment of Walter Isaacson's Steve Jobs bio.

Jobs goes Hollywood

Steve Wozniak made a little press earlier this year when he complained that one film clip is historically inaccurate, telling the LA Times:

"Steve is lecturing me about where computers could go, when it was the other way around. Steve never created a great computer. In that period, he had failure after failure after failure. He had an incredible vision, but he didn't have the ability to execute on it. I would be surprised if the movie portrays the truth."

This public disagreement between the actor who attempted to channel some of the spirit of Steve Jobs and the Apple co-founder seems a shame, on the whole. After all -- there won't be too many movies made about Steve Jobs, and it would be a shame to tarnish these tributes (good business as they might be) with such controversy.

All in all, however, it seems Jobs the movie is going to split opinion worldwide as its release unfurls. Some will love it, some will hate it, while only those closest to Jobs will truly know if Kutcher's captured closely to the full spirit of the man.

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