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Don’t See Steve Jobs Without Reading This First

Here’s a helpful guide to the film’s most important characters

Steve Jobs, the new Aaron Sorkin-written, Danny Boyle-directed film about the late Apple co-founder, is out Friday, Oct. 9. The film is split into three acts, each centered around a different product release helmed by Jobs—the Macintosh in 1994, the NeXTcube in 1988, and the iMac in 1998. The movie, based on former TIME editor Walter Isaacson’s biography, avoids biopic birth-to-death tropes. But beginning in medias res can be confusing. Here’s a spoiler-free guide to who’s who in the film.

  • Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender)

    Film Title: Steve Jobs
    Universal Pictures/Universal Studios Michael Fassbender portrays the pioneering founder of Apple in “Steve Jobs”,
    The late co-founder and CEO of Apple, clearly. After being forced out of the company in 1985, Jobs founded NeXT, a computer company focused on high-end machines. A struggling Apple bought NeXT in 1997, bringing Jobs back into the fold. He heralded the company through a massive turnaround, launching hits like the iMac, iPod, iPhone and iPad.Jobs died Oct. 5, 2011 of complications related to pancreatic cancer. Jobs was given up by his birthparents and adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, an experience that many say colored his worldview significantly.
  • Joanna Hoffman (Kate Winslet)

    Kate Winslet Best Roles Steve Jobs
    Universal Joanna Hoffman in Steve Jobs, 2015.
    The marketing chief on the original Macintosh, Joanna Hoffman also followed Jobs to NeXT. She was known to be one of the few people seemingly unaffected by Jobs’ legendary “reality distortion field,” the name given to the executive’s seeming ability to get people to believe what he wanted them to. Kate Winslet, the actress portraying Hoffman in the film, recently said that Hoffman “did genuinely love” Jobs, and that “she misses him terribly.”

Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen)

Film Title: Steve Jobs
François Duhamel—Universal Studios Steve Jobs (Michael Fassbender) and Steve Wozniak (Seth Rogen).
Steve “Woz” Wozniak co-founded Apple along with Jobs. Wozniak designed the Apple I and much of the Apple II. He and Jobs had a love-hate relationship: Wozniak was a firm believer in the 1970’s-era computer hacker and hobbyist movement, which led him to push for Apple’s machines to be open and changeable by consumers. Jobs, however, felt simplicity to be the better route, thinking that too many options served only to confuse less-educated shoppers.

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