Today we stopped thinking of Ashton Kutcher as “Kelso from That 70’s Show” long enough to wonder: will the two upcoming films about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs create good press for a company that could use some?
Much of this week’s news concerns a bit of indirect back-and-forth between jOBS star Kutcher and Steve Wozniack, the company’s other co-founder. “Woz” pointed out inaccuracies in the movie while Kutcher told the Associated Press that filmmakers never had the chance to get Steve #2’s side of the story in the first place. Why? Because he’s “being paid” to promote Sony’s as-yet-untitled Aaron Sorkin film on the same topic—and he chose to make himself “extremely unavailable” during the production process.
Our question, though, is more about the company at large: could these movies help Apple overcome the common perception that its peak has passed?
Any discussion the films inspire won’t necessarily be flattering. In a New York Magazine interview, Wozniack says the company did “some evil, evil things” under Jobs, and Kutcher admits that Jobs “wasn’t worried about being liked.” But could Apple use the films to help remind consumers why they loved the company in the first place, or will pop culture prompt a critical re-thinking of the Jobs legacy that reflects poorly on the leadership of CEO Tim Cook? How should Apple’s PR team react?
Maybe Cook will just pull a Zuckerberg/The Social Network “no comment” and take all of his employees to a private screening.