Steve Jobs' personal life has always been a mystery. The controversial technology pioneer is said to have been volatile, both at the office and in his personal life, meaning that close relationships were allegedly few and far between. Steve Jobs, the new film based on Walter Isaacson's biography, doesn't shed much light on Jobs' family, with one significant exception — the film, told in three acts, explores a fictionalized version of Jobs' complicated relationship with Lisa Brennan Jobs, his eldest daughter. Lisa, who appears at two stages in her life in the film, once at age five and once at 19, is the daughter of Jobs' high school girlfriend, Chrisann Brennan, portrayed in the film by Katherine Waterston. But what about Steve Jobs' other children? Why didn't they get the same treatment as Lisa did in the film?
Lisa Jobs is, as previously mentioned, heavily featured in the film adaptation of Jobs' biography. She allegedly had a tumultuous relationship with her dad, who denied his relationship to her for years until a paternity test confirmed he was her father. Brennan described the complicated family life in her book, The Bite in the Apple: A Memoir of My Life With Steve Jobs . Despite, or perhaps because of, the complex nature of Jobs' relationship with his eldest daughter, Lisa plays a crucial role in the new film. In fact, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin revealed that he sees Lisa as the hero of the film. "She didn't participate in Walter Isaacson's book, because her father was alive at the time, and she didn't want to alienate either of her parents, so I was very grateful that she was willing to spend time with me. She is the heroine of the movie," Sorkin told The Independent.
Though Lisa is heavily featured in the Steve Jobs film, his other children are noticeably absent. In 1991, Jobs married Laurene Powell (now Laurene Powell-Jobs), and a few years later, a teenage Lisa was living with her father and new step-mother. Powell and Jobs had three children: Reed (born in 1991), Eve (1995) and Erin (1998). It's no surprise that neither Powell nor her children with Jobs are featured in Steve Jobs, as Powell reportedly tried multiple times to stop the film from coming to fruition. According to producer Scott Rudin, Powell was offered the opportunity to participate in the development of Steve Jobs, but didn't take it. "[Powell] refused to discuss anything in Aaron's script that bothered her despite my repeated entreaties. ...[She] continued to say how much she disliked the book, and that any movie based on the book could not possibly be accurate," Rudin told The Wall Street Journal. Powell has not publicly commented on the matter.
As for Jobs' three youngest children, they may not have been involved with the movie, but they did participate in Isaacson's original biography, which the author began when Jobs was still alive. Isaacson told 60 Minutes,
"Reed just adores his father. When I was first working on the book, he came to see me and said, 'Let's take a walk.' Very much like his father would have done. And he says, 'I know you're gonna hear a lot of stories of my dad being tough and brutal to people. But I want you to know that he really cares about the products and he wasn't just out to make money or to be a great businessman."
Steve Jobs is not a documentary, nor does it claim to be 100% accurate. So, it's impossible to truly begrudge the film for telling its story however it sees fit, with or without Jobs' children's involvement.