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"Hmm, Banana? No. Fig? Not quite. Potato? Closer...."
Steve Jobs

STEVE JOBS

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

INT. AUDITORIUM - 1984

MICHAEL FASSBENDER, his partner KATE WINSLET, and programmer MICHAEL STUHLBARG are preparing to launch the APPLE MACINTOSH. There's only one problem-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

So help me God, if you do not get this thing's voice demo to function properly I will vivisect your family pets and then summon their damned souls back from purgatory and imbue them into this computer so the audience can hear your corgis wailing in confused agony instead. Either this computer will say "Hello" like a person or it will scream dog words in Latin. Your choice.

KATE WINSLET

So THAT's how this movie will differentiate itself from the passable Ashton Kutcher Lifetime Original Movie. By making Jobs a fucking psychopath.

MICHAEL STUHLBARG

Well, unfortunately, computers sometimes are weird and there is little that can be done about it. I mean, we could always just play a recording of the thing saying "Hello" like it presumably has a thousand times before. It's a bit dishonest but-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Oh my god, these words you are saying do not sound anything like furious typing. Do nerd things. Make code happen. I will continue petulantly whining until I get my way because when rich white guys do it it's genius talk and when babies do it it's bad parenting.

MICHAEL STUHLBARG

But-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Now.

MICHAEL STUHLBARG

Maybe-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Typing.

MICHAEL STUHLBARG

Reaganomics-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(grabs a nearby computer and glues it to MICHAEL's face and hands)

You should have plenty of oxygen to get through a few hundred lines of code. Use your nose and tongue to type what your hands cannot reach. I want that "Hello" or else you can say "Goodbye" to your career. End witty monologue.

MICHAEL stalks away. KATE follows him for a good old fashioned WALK-AND-TALK.

KATE WINSLET

As your business partner and only real friend, I feel the need to inform you that you seem highly strung.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(walks through wall because the door didn't open fast enough)

Why do you say that?

KATE WINSLET

Look, you're a perfectionist, I get it, that's what makes you special. But seriously, you're running everybody ragged trying to make this product launch run like Cirque Du Soleil. I mean, the audience is full of our shareholders, they already like us, we don't need to preach to this particular choir.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

That's crazy talk. This launch must run smoother than a lubed up rectal thermometer. I have glimpsed the future and seen the 2008 Beijing Olympics and this launch must make that opening ceremony look like a grade school production of "Cats". Bruce Springsteen, James Brown, and KISS should be simultaneously shitting themselves and taking notes when they see how good this live performance goes. I want five dancing bears. No wait! Ten. No! Eight, ten is far too many. Wait, tigers, not bears. White ones. Not too big. Get on it.

KATE WINSLET

Why are you talking like that? Nobody talks like that.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Computers are the future. In twenty years they will be more essential than air. I decree this. This I decree.

KATE WINSLET

Right, this is a Sorkin screenplay. Everyone talks like a Thesaurus on speed.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

I don't hear bear-dancing.

KATE WINSLET

You said you wanted tigers.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(snaps a phonebook in half)

KATE WINSLET

I'll call my dealer.

MICHAEL goes back to his DRESSING ROOM and finds KATHERINE WATERSTON waiting for him.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Eeek! Homeless woman!

KATHERINE WATERSTON

I'm your ex, dick.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(screams louder)

KATHERINE WATERSTON

Well this is a nice dressing room. What? Have they not gotten around to gold-plating it yet, you half-a-billion dollar motherfucker?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

I won't apologize for my success, Katherine.

KATHERINE WATERSTON

Well that's too bad, because me and your daughter are on fucking welfare, and a good apology would keep the heat on for a few more days. Seriously, I’d love to wrap your five-year old kid in a good “sorry, babe” at night so she doesn’t shiver so much.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

No. You’re trying to trap me. She’s not my daughter. She’s obviously someone else’s crotch-spawn and you’re just trying to guilt me into being a decent human being.

KATHERINE WATERSTON

Well, despite your public accusation that I’ve fucked dozens if not hundreds of men within nine months of your kid’s birth, paternity court ruled in my favor and I will sodomize you with an injunction if I have to secure my daughter’s future.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Fuck that. I don’t care what the paternity test said, or what the judge said, or the fact that I could give you literally one day’s salary and you and her could live comfortably for a year. I will never, ever pay one red cent to-

Adorable five-year old MAKENZIE MOSS appears.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(flicker of humanity)

Shit. Hang on.

(opens Finder, selects “My Conscience” and drags to the Trash bin)

All better. Y’all can fuck yourselves.

MAKENZIE MOSS

But dad, look! I made a silly picture on MacPaint!

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

What a pathetic attempt at modern art. That squiggle should be blue, and the dimensions of that other squiggle reflect none of the nuance of childhood innocence. I wish this doodle was on paper so I could wipe my ass with it. You are no daughter of mine. Enjoy therapy.

KATHERINE and MAKENZIE pull on their COAL-STAINED RAGS and walk back to the SOUP LINE. KATE reappears.

KATE WINSLET

You treat your side-family like shit.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

This bothers you?

KATE WINSLET

Kinda. Anyway, the launch.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Yes, I have more unreasonable demands. I want a different shirt, different lighting, and to be the Time Magazine Person of the Year, in that order.

KATE WINSLET

We can do you the first two, but Time Magazine picked someone different.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(draws broadsword)

Be right back.

KATE WINSLET

Uh, before you throw yet another tantrum, um, oh look! Seth Rogen!

SETH ROGEN appears.

SETH ROGEN

Hey old buddy old pal! How you doing bro?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(sheathes weapon)

Ugh, what do you want, Seth?

SETH ROGEN

To stretch my dramatic muscles, mostly. See my Steve Wozniak impression? I have mannerisms and everything!

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Yeah, you’re… actually pretty solid. Nice job. B+.

SETH ROGEN

Care for a walk-and-talk?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Okay. So, what do you-

INT. GARAGE – 1976

MICHAEL and SETH and their GOOFY HAIRCUTS are designing the original APPLE I COMPUTER.

SETH ROGEN

So, I think we should design this computer with-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Wait, what the hell just happened?

SETH ROGEN

Flashback. We’re in the past now. This is how we founded Apple.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

I, whoa, uh, okay, well, no, I think we should design the computer with some-

INT. AUDITORIUM – 1984

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

-extra features and… huh?

SETH ROGEN

Welcome back to the present! So, as I was saying-

INT. GARAGE – 1976

SETH ROGEN

-we need to design the computer with-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Whoa! Dammit! Hold on! Let me get my bearings here! Okay, so, you want a computer with-

INT. AUDITORIUM – 1984

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

-extra features and SHIT!

SETH ROGEN

Try to keep up, bro.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

I don’t have your super nerd brain, okay. I’m an idea guy. I can’t follow all this time-jumpy bullshit.

SETH ROGEN

Then let me dumb it down for you. Please thank the original Apple II team in your presentation. They built this company, they deserve credit. It would cost you nothing and it would be a nice thing to do.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Hmm, let me think about it. How about fuck the Apple II team-

INT. GARAGE – 1976

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

-and fuck your weird 70’s jewfro too. Clear enough for you?

INT. AUDITORIUM – 1984

SETH ROGEN

Yep, I got it buddy! But we’re still best friends, right?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Ugh, you humans and your need to be cuddled. Fine. I will allow you to interact with me on a semi-regular basis.

SETH ROGEN

(squeals)

MICHAEL finally gets backstage to the actual PRESENTATION. He sees KATE and other MICHAEL fixing the computer.

MICHAEL STUHLBARG

So, I’ve found a workaround to the voice demo problem. If we hurgurble the fligurble, we should get just enough RAM to DOS the C drive!

KATE WINSLET

What?! No! That’s completely immoral and misleading!

(pause)

Okay, do it.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Nice job, Michael. Your career lives another day. Only one thing, I’m getting sick of sharing a name with someone, from now on your name is Dumb Nerdface.

DUMB NERDFACE

Wait, but… okay….

MICHAEL is about to step onstage but then he meets JEFF DANIELS.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Jesus, how many secondary characters do I have to interact with today?!

JEFF DANIELS

Nice to see you too, Michael. Care for some pre-show wine?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Ugh, fine. So. You’re my boss.

JEFF DANIELS

And your father figure, as I literally state out loud.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

I bet you’re used to Aaron Sorkin’s cleverly disguised preachiness, aren’t you, Mr. Newsroom?

JEFF DANIELS

Sure am. Anyway, I just wanted to wish you luck. And bring up the fact that you’re adopted for no reason.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Yes. And I’m fine with being adopted. Shut up. You’re not my real dad.

JEFF DANIELS

Well, enjoy your presentation, champ. We’ll throw the old pigskin around when you’re done.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Pfft, I don’t need your approval or this “friendship” thing that humans desire. I’m gonna go launch my computer now. And it’s gonna sell a billion copies and be the best thing ever made and everyone is going to love me and-

INT. AUDITORIUM – 1988

MICHAEL has been FIRED from APPLE and is launching some other BULLSHIT COMPUTER that no one REMEMBERS.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

-and people will be my friends and, whoa, DAMMIT! Quit jumping around so much! God, Danny Boyle, you do realize one-shot scenes are the big thing right now, right? Get some Birdman all up in here, you’ll never win another directing Oscar with all these edits and cuts!

Slightly older MICHAEL does some more WALKING and TALKING and BITCHING and MOANING.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Okay, that last presentation was a shit show, THIS one needs to be Cabernet Sauvignon Blanc with a hint of crack cocaine. I’m talking classier than snorting powdered diamond off a hooker’s snatch. Who do I get to shout at today?

KATE WINSLET

Still me.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Cool. I want twelve juggling monkeys. Wait. Starfish.

KATE WINSLET

You want the monkeys to juggle starfish or you want starfish trained to juggle?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Both! Neither! Dammit, do I have to do everything myself!?!

MICHAEL goes back to his DRESSING ROOM and finds his slightly older DAUGHTER, RIPLEY SOBO, waiting for him.

RIPLEY SOBO

Daddy!

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Oh. You.

RIPLEY SOBO

I’m doing good in school lately!

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(reading the paper)

Great.

RIPLEY SOBO

I drew you a crayon thing!

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(flicking cards into a hat)

Mhmm.

RIPLEY SOBO

I’m thinking of taking up erotic yoga.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(making a claymation)

That’s nice dear.

RIPLEY SOBO

Your new computer looks kind of dumb.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

YOU CAN NEVER UNDERSTAND THE GENIUS OF MY COMPUTER, IT IS A CUBE, THAT IS NATURE’S PERFECT SHAPE.

Suddenly, SETH ROGEN barges in.

SETH ROGEN

Hey, Michael, old buddy old pal! What’s up? Talking to your daughter?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Who? Oh. Her. The cube-hater.

SETH ROGEN

Well, I just wanted to confront you a little bit. Michael, I love you bro, but you’re an incredibly condescending asshole and I hate being treated like a four-year old. I mean, I’m a fucking genius. I singlehandedly built the two computers that launched Apple, I built the circuit board for Atari’s first hit game, and you screwed me out of my money. I’m the Tesla to your Edison. Please. Just, stop.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

I once met a conductor. That conductor said conductors conduct. That is what I do. I conduct musicians. You are a musician and I conduct musicians and-

SCREENWRITER AARON SORKIN

Wait, this isn’t on-the-nose enough. Hang on.

INT. ORCHESTRA PIT

SCREENWRITER AARON SORKIN

Much better. Continue.

SETH ROGEN

Uh, well, as I was saying, conductors don’t usually commit financial sodomy on the first violinist. You’re less Georg Solti and more J.K. Simmons in Whiplash, with just a bit of Bernie Madoff sprinkled on top.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

No need to thank me.

MICHAEL heads back towards the STAGE to announce the BULLSHIT CUBE. He is stopped by JEFF DANIELS.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

No, Jeff, I don’t need any fatherly advice right now. I need to go commit career suicide, thanks.

JEFF DANIELS

Sorry, son, but I’m actually here to shit on you and everything you’ve worked for.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Huh? Oh, our relationship must have deteriorated in the years since the last product launch. Man, if only this movie actually depicted character growth over the years instead of leaning on the product-launch-as-three-act-structure gimmick.

JEFF DANIELS

Oh, don’t worry, we can depict our falling out. Guess how.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

How?

INT. APPLE CONFERENCE ROOM - 1985

JEFF DANIELS

Flashbacks, of course!

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Dammit, people! Just make a traditional biopic, already! What’s the point of centering the movie around three product launches if you’re just going to-

INT. AUDITORIUM – 1988

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

-bounce through time all the DAMMIT!

JEFF DANIELS

Michael, listen, I fired you because-

INT. APPLE CONFERENCE ROOM – 1985

JEFF DANIELS

You’re an incredible asshole who borderline abuses employees and accomplishes everything by shouting.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Well fuck you and all your Agents of Mediocrity. I’m an asshole because it gets results.

JEFF DANIELS

Sure. Except no, it doesn’t. Your last computer tanked and you fucked up the Apple II, which was the only thing Apple ever profited from. I have every reason to fire your ass right now. So I’m going to. Turn in your badge and gun.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Well, I’m sure these Ringwraiths you have cloaked in shadow around this conference table will vote to overrule you.

The other BOARD MEMBERS raise their boney hands, shrieking.

JEFF DANIELS

The Yes’s have it. You’re dead to us. Consider your Fass thoroughly bent.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

I am sad. You can tell because it’s raining behind me.

INT. AUDITORIUM – 1988

MICHAEL stalks towards the STAGE. He is met by KATE, again.

KATE WINSLET

Michael, you can’t go out there. This product is going to sink faster than-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

The Titanic?

KATE WINSLET

Fuck off.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Well, conveniently, I have had an ace up my sleeve this whole time. You see, the Bullshit Cube was never supposed to be a successful computer at all! I just built it so we could develop an operating system which Apple would magically want to buy! And obviously they’ll buy me with it! Because, you know, when I tanked one company I was incompetent, but now that I’m tanking another company on purpose, I’m a business genius!

KATE WINSLET

I’m sure this all made much more sense in real life.

INT. YET ANOTHER FUCKING AUDITORIUM – 1998

Having finally donned the BLACK TURTLENECK and GLASSES that people actually RECOGNIZE STEVE JOBS for, MICHAEL prepares to LAUNCH the iMac computer.

KATE WINSLET

Alright, Michael. Let me just pop fourteen Xanax and we can get started dealing with your bullshit demands for this presentation. Let me guess, chimpanzees jumping unicycles through flaming hoops on top of a-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Actually, let’s just keep it loose. I’ll show the computer and we’ll flash some fun pictures, maybe do a little stage banter. You know, low-key.

KATE WINSLET

I…wow. Okay. You’ve mellowed out a bit. I guess that turtleneck must be squeezing the asshole juices out of your brain.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Well, now that you mention it, maybe just one or two unicycle chimps?

KATE WINSLET

(sighs)

I’ll call my guy.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Three?

KATE WINSLET

Ugh.

MICHAEL goes to his dressing room and talks to DUMB NERDFACE.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Look, Dumb, I appreciate all the work you’ve done for me over the years, but I recently learned you paid my daughter’s college tuition and that is an act of kindness I cannot abide.

DUMB NERDFACE

Well somebody has to be a father to your kid. I also suggested she get therapy. To deal with you.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Oh come on, I’m not that bad.

DUMB NERDFACE

You abandoned her in poverty for the first four years of her life.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

I relented! Eventually! After a court ordered me to! And after my ex literally begged me to!

DUMB NERDFACE

But you won’t pay her college tuition?

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

That’s irrelevant. The point is, I don’t want YOU to do it. Now leave this place before I change your name again.

DUMB NERDFACE

Hey now, that’s uncalled for-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Too late.

BEAVER ANUS GLANDS

Wait, I just… you asshole.

BEAVER leaves. MICHAEL sits down to rehearse.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

“The iMac is the greatest invention since sliced bread came with a plug-in vibrator. It offers dozens of features such as-“

(remembers his daughter playing with MacPaint)

“Such as a shitty paint program, constant unavoidable updates, no games, and a mouse that can’t right-click, giving you full access-“

(remembers his daughter being all cute)

“Full access to a $2000 machine that you only use to check Pinterest.” Gah, fuck, hang on.

MICHAEL attempts to open his BRAIN and remove the DAUGHTER VIRUS that has infested his THOUGHTS, but much like an APPLE COMPUTER, he cannot CUSTOMIZE or ALTER his brain in any MEANINGFUL WAY.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Shit. I want to connect with my daughter all of a sudden. Ughhh, okay. Like everything else I do, I want to get this over with quickly.

MICHAEL walks out to the AUDITORIUM to find his DAUGHTER.

SETH ROGEN

Hey buddy-

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Fuck you.

SETH ROGEN

Okay then!

MICHAEL finds his DAUGHTER, who has now matured into teenage PERLA HANEY-JARDINE.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

So, I have decided I will accept you into my life now. You may hug me.

PERLA HANEY-JARDINE

(kicks him in the balls)

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

It’s a start. Can I ask why you’re miffed?

PERLA HANEY-JARDINE

Oh, you know, just usual teenage rebellion stuff. I’m just acting out. It has nothing to do with how you said you wouldn’t pay for my college or let my mom sell her house that she owns.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Well that’s good to hear. Now. How shall I father you? Uhhh.

(attempts to pet her)

There, there. Good girl. Nice daughter.

PERLA HANEY-JARDINE

Your new computer looks like Wall-E’s suppository.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

(swallows rage)

Look, I’m trying, okay? Yes, I’m a shitty dad. But I want to fix things. I want to fix PEOPLE. Because I’m broken! Don’t you see! I’m adopted and sad and I want to make a world full of perfect, shiny electronics that solve our problems and only occasionally get stuck on Shuffle.

(pause)

I kept that stupid drawing you made on that computer all those years ago.

PERLA HANEY-JARDINE

(pause)

Fine. You can be a dad to me a little bit.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

And I’m going to invent something for you. Some kind of pod that plays music. A music pod. A MacPod, maybe.

PERLA HANEY-JARDINE

And once again, Aaron Sorkin fabricates a tale about how a famous tech innovator did it all for a girl, except this time it’s his daughter instead of Jesse Eisenberg inventing Facebook to impress some gal he dated like twice.

MICHAEL FASSBENDER

Hey, I think we captured the spirit of Steve Jobs alright. I mean sure, he didn’t actually say any of the things I said in this movie, and even the people who couldn’t stand him in real life say this movie makes him out to be too much of a prick, and I only sort of look like him, and nobody actually saw this movie because we had a shittier one two years ago, and a kind of okay one ten years before that…

PERLA HANEY-JARDINE

I guess they just assumed Apple fans would buy the same product every few years OOH BURN!

The two FIST BUMP and then MICHAEL goes onstage and announces his COMPUTER and they all lived HAPPILY EVER AFTER until STEVE JOBS died of CANCER because he decided to get fucking ACUPUNCTURE instead of going to a DOCTOR.

END

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