Finding the right balance between fact and fiction is a tough trick for any “based on a true story” movie to pull off, but at least the subjects of, say, Lincoln (or Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, if you prefer) aren’t actually around to comment on their portrayal. For movies about public figures who are still alive and well, criticism from their real-life subjects often comes with the territory.

Two upcoming biopics about controversial figures have recently come into view, and it appears that the people depicted in them aren’t so thrilled with Hollywood’s versions of events. In a series of emails, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak called Joshua Michael Stern‘s jOBS “totally wrong,” though he expressed his hopes that the film would at least be “fun and entertaining.” Meanwhile, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange had much harsher words for Bill Condon‘s The Fifth Estate, which he blasted as a “massive propaganda attack.” Read their comments after the jump.

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The last curiosity of this year’s Sundance Film Festival is jOBS, the biopic of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, featuring Ashton Kutcher in the lead role. The film premieres tomorrow night, but in the meantime we’ve got the first clip from the film. It features a conversation between jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, played by Josh Gad. Their conversation here will give you a pretty good sense of what Kutcher’s performance is like. It also suggests that the film’s script may be pretty on the nose, which is always a handicap for a biopic.  Read More »

Once the initial disbelief at Ashton Kutcher‘s casting in Joshua Michael Stern‘s jOBS wore off, it became apparent that the Two and a Half Men star looked the part of late tech guru Steve Jobs, if nothing else. But there’s a wide gap between mimicking Jobs’ hairstyle and outfits and actually embodying his persona.

Sundance Film Festival attendees will get to see how Kutcher really fares when jOBS makes its world premiere as the Sundance Film Festival’s closing night film later this month, but the rest of us won’t have too much longer to wait either. Open Road Films has just picked up the biopic with plans to release it theatrically this spring. More details after the jump.

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When Ashton Kutcher was cast as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in the biopic jOBS, there was much talk about the degree of resemblance between the actor and the young engineer.

Now that we’ve got the first official photo of Kutcher in the role, however, the most impressive thing about it might be the degree to which he looks like no one but Ashton Kutcher. Not that we expected much different, but this appears designed to court the people who might watch Two and a Half Men, rather than those more specifically interested in tech or business. (Nothing wrong with that per se.) Check out the shot below. Read More »

Photos: Ashton Kutcher as Older Steve Jobs in ‘jOBS’

If you had told me a year ago that the genius co-founder of Apple Inc. and the lovable idiot from That ’70s Show were dead ringers, I probably would’ve given you the side eye. But after Ashton Kutcher won the lead role in the indie Steve Jobs biopic jOBS (on April Fool’s Day, no less), tech aficionados and movie fans took a closer look at the actor and were struck by the resemblance. Whatever you think of Kutcher’s dramatic chops, set photos have proved that he certainly looks the part.

The last time we checked in with the production, we got to see the cast dolled up to reenact Jobs’ early days working out of his childhood home in Los Altos. The latest batch shows Kutcher looking a bit older, portraying what appears to be the ’90s version of Jobs. Dermot Mulroney, who plays former Apple CEO Mike Markkula, can also be seen in old-age makeup. Check them out after the jump.

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The very first pictures from Joshua Michael Stern‘s indie Steve Jobs biopic jOBS confirmed what we already more or less knew: that Ashton Kutcher can look a lot like the late tech guru in the right outfit. Now a more recent batch of set photos offers glimpses of some of the rest of the cast as well, including Josh Gad as Apple co-founder Steve WozniakAhna O’Reilly as Jobs’ girlfriend Chris-Ann BrennanLukas Haas as Apple employee Daniel Kottke; and Dermot Mulroney as former Apple CEO Mike Markkula. Check ‘em out after the jump.

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With shooting already underway, Joshua Michael Stern‘s Steve Jobs biopic is filling in some key supporting roles. (For clarification, this is a distinct project from the Aaron Sorkin-penned Jobs movie set up at Sony, which has yet to begin casting.) The latest addition to the cast is Matthew Modine, who’s slated to play former Apple CEO John Sculley. He was hired by Jobs (Ashton Kutcher) for the post in 1983, but the two men famously struggled to get along. Two years later, Sculley removed Jobs from from his managerial duties, leading Jobs to resign from the company shortly afterward.

In addition to Modine and Kutcher, the picture also stars Josh Gad as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak and Ahna O’Reilly as Jobs’ girlfriend Chris-Ann Brennan. Stern’s film is due to hit later this year, but first Modine will be seen grappling with another eccentric visionary — Batman (Christian Bale) — in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises. [THR]

After the jump, Dan Aykroyd goes Behind the Candelabra.

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A couple days after Sony announced that Aaron Sorkin would be writing their Steve Jobs biopic, Five Star Feature Films has issued a press release announcing the start of photography on their independently produced Steve Jobs biopic directed by Joshua Michael Stern (Swing Vote, Neverwas) and starring Ashton Kutcher. And this time around we have a little more information about this competing project. The film is being titled jOBS, a play on the lowercase i branding Jobs made famous. I think it might have been better to go with “iJOBS”.

The producers claim that their film will “shed new light on Steve Jobs’ most defining and personal moments, motivations, and the people that drove him” and that the movie will cover Jobs from “his early years as an impressionable youth and wayward hippie, through his initial successes and infamous ousting, to his storybook return and ultimate triumphs as a man who set out to change the world and did just that.” So in other words, the 30 years from 1971 through 2000. You might be wondering what the source will be for this biopic as Sony had already nabbed Job’ official (and New York Times bestselling) biography. jOBS will be based on interviews from colleagues, and friends.

The press release claims it will be “Dark, honest, and uncompromising,” an “intense dialogue-driven story” which will pull “no punches and does not speculate, telling only the candid and captivating account of the life of Steven Paul Jobs.” And as production begins, Five Star wants to brag about “the project’s commitment to accuracy and authenticity” as they will film scenes in the actual Los Altos home where Jobs grew up and in the historic garage where he and Steve Wozniak founded Apple. They also mention that Oscar winning cinematographer Russell Carpenter (Titanic) is shooting the film. Read the press released after the jump.

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