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Steve Jobs' widow reportedly tried to block new film about her husband

Laurene Powell Jobs and other allies of the late Apple co-founder say the latest film portrays him as cruel and inhumane, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Michael Fassbender stars in "Steve Jobs," a movie that the late Apple co-founder's widow reportedly tried to block. Universal Pictures

Steve Jobs' widow tried to stop a new film about her late husband from being made, The Wall Street Journal reported late Sunday.

Laurene Powell Jobs lobbied both Sony Pictures and Universal Pictures to quash the new film, titled simply "Steve Jobs," the Journal said, citing people familiar with the interactions. The script was written by Aaron Sorkin and is based on Walter Isaacson's 2011 biography of Jobs.

It was Powell Jobs' objection to Isaacson's biography that reportedly led her attempt to kill the film, even though the movie's production staff reportedly tried to involve her in the project.

"She refused to discuss anything in Aaron's script that bothered her despite my repeated entreaties," producer Scott Rudin told the Journal. He said that Powell Jobs "continued to say how much she disliked the book, and that any movie based on the book could not possibly be accurate."

A spokesman for Powell Jobs declined CNET's request to comment for this story. Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The film, directed by Danny Boyle and starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs, opens in New York and Los Angeles on Friday, with a wider release on October 23 in the US. The movie opens in the UK on November 13.

Jobs died October 5, 2011, at the age of 56 of respiratory arrest following a long battle with pancreatic cancer. But he's remained in the public eye through several books and films that attempt to portray his life, career and personality.

Jobs was a controversial figure. While his efforts paved the way for products like the iMac and the iPhone, his sense of perfectionism was said to have caused him to lash out at employees and others who didn't live up to his standards.

The Jobs portrayed in the new film is described by the Journal as "brilliant but abrasive and focuses on sometimes-contentious relationships with key figures in his life, including co-founder Steve Wozniak, marketing executive Joanna Hoffman, CEO John Sculley, and his daughter Lisa Brennan-Jobs."

Isaacson spoke with Jobs more than 40 times and with more than 100 of his friends, relatives and colleagues. Still, his book was criticized by such Apple higher-ups as CEO Tim Cook and Jony Ive.

Cook was asked about the new film by "The Late Show" host Stephen Colbert during a September 15 appearance. The Apple CEO said, " I think a lot of people are trying to be opportunistic and I hate this." That comment prompted scriptwriter Sorkin to lash out at Cook for calling him "opportunistic." Sorkin later publicly apologized to Cook, saying that they "probably both went a little too far."

One famed Apple personality who doesn't share the anger about the new film is Wozniak, who was reportedly paid $200,000 to consult on the film, the Journal noted. The Apple co-founder said the film doesn't exactly portray real events. "It's about Jobs and his personality," Wozniak told the Journal. "I feel that it did a great job."