Lights, camera, Apple: Filming starts for new Steve Jobs biopic

The film, written by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, is on location at the former Apple CEO's childhood home in Los Altos, Calif.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
3 min read

Film crews transformed the garage at the childhood home of former Apple CEO Steve Jobs. Production on a new Jobs film has started in Los Altos, Calif. James Martin/CNET

LOS ALTOS, Calif. -- The garage at Steve Jobs' childhood home here looks like a trip back in time.

Cinderblock and wood shelves are pieced together along the walls. Roller skates, a Thermos, an old vacuum cleaner and 8-track player and stereo lay haphazardly about. An advertisement for a Braun electric coffee maker hangs on the wall, as does a poster featuring Bob Dylan holding a "Get Born" sign from a film clip featuring the song "Subterranean Homesick Blues." And the house itself has been painted a beige color with darker tan trim, contrasting with the formerly lighter exterior.

It could be anybody's long-forgotten storage space. Or it could be the set of the new Jobs biopic based on Walter Isaacson's biography, "Steve Jobs."

The film, with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin and directed by Danny Boyle, has begun shooting in California. Crew members put the finishing touches on the garage set Friday morning in anticipation of shooting later in the day. The venue, in sleepy Los Altos in the heart of Silicon Valley, also happens to be the actual garage at Jobs' childhood home and the location where he and partner Steve Wozniak started Apple in 1976.

Inside the Apple garage as Jobs film starts shooting (pictures)

See all photos

Filming is also set to take place in San Jose and other Silicon Valley venues, as well as Berkeley. The movie covers three major product introductions that shaped Jobs' life and the company he founded, lost, returned to and changed into one of the most powerful and valuable consumer electronics companies in the world. The scenes will include the introduction of the Macintosh computer in 1984, the unveiling of the NeXT computer in 1988 and the iPod release in 2001.

Jobs -- who spearheaded Apple's creation of products such as the iPod, iPhone and iPad -- was a popular figure in his decades running the company. Since his death from cancer in 2011, interest in him has only grown. Several books and films have been created about his life, but perhaps no book has been as thorough as Isaacson's biography. The author conducted hours of interviews with Jobs and his closest friends and co-workers.

The Sorkin film is the second major Jobs movie following the charismatic executive's death. The previous film -- "Jobs," starring Ashton Kutcher in the lead role and Josh Gad as Wozniak -- was widely panned and even faced criticism from Wozniak.

The much-anticipated film based on Isaacson's tome has faced a lot of turmoil leading up to production. Sony had been developing the film since 2011 when it bought the rights to Isaacson's authorized biography shortly after Jobs' death. But the production company ditched it late last year. Universal Pictures picked it up. David Fincher, who directed Sorkin's "Social Network," originally was slated to direct it, but he also dropped out. And "Dark Knight" star Christian Bale, who was cast to play Jobs without even having to audition, also recently backed out of the project.

Michael Fassbender, of "X-Men: First Class" and "12 Years A Slave," is now slated to play Jobs, while Seth Rogen, of "The Interview" and "The 40 Year Old Virgin," is expected to star as Wozniak. Kate Winslet of "Titanic" and "Divergent" has been cast as an unnamed "female lead" (we're guessing Jobs' wife, Laurene Powell Jobs), and Jeff Daniels, of "Dumb & Dumber" and "The Newsroom," will play former Apple CEO John Sculley.