New Steve Jobs movie starring Michael Fassbender, Seth Rogen, Kate Winslet, shooting in Berkeley

Seth Rogan is to play the part of Steve Wozniak in a new film about Steve Jobs and Apple that will be on location in Berkeley on Friday and Saturday. Photo: Boris Rezsov
Seth Rogan is to play the part of Steve Wozniak in a new film about Steve Jobs and Apple that will be on location in Berkeley on Friday and Saturday. Photo: Boris Rezsov

A new movie about Steve Jobs, starring Michael Fassbender (as Jobs), Seth Rogen (as Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak), Kate Winslet and Katherine Waterston, is coming to Berkeley on Friday for some location shooting.

Filming will take place in and around La Méditerranée restaurant at 2936 College Ave., and will be concentrated during nighttime hours — Friday, Jan. 23, from 6 p.m. through Saturday, Jan. 24, at 6 a.m. — to mitigate the impact on the neighborhood, according to an email put out by District 8 Councilwoman Lori Droste.

The new movie, not to be confused with the 2013 movie Jobs, featuring Ashton Kutcher, is dripping with A-list credentials. As well as the starry actor line-up, the film is being directed by Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionnaire), according to IMDB, with a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (The West Wing, The Social Network, The Newsroom), based on the biography of Jobs written by bestselling author Walter Isaacson.

The new movie about Steve Jobs is based on the biography by Walter Isaacson
The new movie about Steve Jobs is based on the biography of the Apple co-founder by Walter Isaacson. Photo: Creative Commons

The film, which centers on the launch of three key Apple products in the 1980s and 1990s, is said to have been inspired by a 2013 article in The Atlantic headlined “The Definitive Story of Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs, and Phone Phreaking.”

The movie is shooting in locations around the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Cupertino, and at the site of Jobs’ Los Altos childhood home in whose garage it is said Apple had its genesis.

Producers have been casting extras for the movie and were looking in particular for “men between the ages of 18 to 40s with long hair and facial hair to match the 1980s to 1990s time periods.” Women should have “natural hair colors, and no chunky highlights or modern hair styles,” the call-out, published on Project Casting, said.

For the Berkeley shoot, the film requires “café patrons and pedestrians … all ethnicities, some with cars manufactured in ‘83 or earlier.” The listing also noted that only union actors would be able to take part, due to the small number of extras needed.

There will also be smoking “as a sign of the times.” According to the listing, “Smoking will be permitted indoors/outdoors as a sign of the times on this day; must be willing to work around smoke. If willing to smoke, please note in submission, tobacco-free alternatives will be provided.”

La Mediterranee Photo Ira Serkes
La Méditerranée restaurant on College Avenue: where filming for the new Steve Jobs movie will take place. Photo: Ira Serkes

Steve Wozniak, who goes by the name Woz, was living in Berkeley when he and Jobs became phone hackers together. As recounted in Isaacson’s book, they also used to haunt used-record stores in Berkeley to find bootleg Bob Dylan tapes. Wozniak dropped out of UC Berkeley in 1971, just one year after enrolling. He returned to Cal to finish his degree and graduated in 1986. Jobs died in 2011.

Despite sharing a last name and a vaguely similar demeanor, Steve Wozniak is not related to former Berkeley City Councilman Gordon Wozniak.

“If we are related it is back in the old country,” Gordon Wozniak told Berkeleyside on Thursday. “Sometimes I say he is a distant cousin, very distant.” He added: “Wozniak is not an uncommon name in Poland or Chicago. There were over 60 Wozniaks listed in the Cracow phone directory the last time I visited.”

The names “Seth Rogen” and “Berkeley” were most recently linked in print last month when the Elmwood’s Rialto Cinemas was one of the first movie theaters in the country to screen The Interview, which starred the Canadian comedian and triggered a global brouhaha when North Korea made its objections to the film known.

Droste has been working with the Berkeley Film Office and the Berkeley Police Department to manage traffic throughout the filming. She said the city parking lot west of College Avenue will be off-limits during the shoot and, on Friday, spaces in front of La Méditerranée will be restricted.

To find out what is going on in Berkeley and nearby, be sure to check out Berkeleyside’s Events Calendar. And submit your own events: it’s self-serve and free.