Columbia Pictures is in talks to create a new movie about Facebook called The Social Network, an adaptation of Ben Mezrich’s sensationalistic book Accidental Billionaries: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal, Variety reports. It would be the first major film based on Facebook.
The book, scheduled for release on July 14, is already being criticized for its inaccuracies and tendency to distort the facts into juicy scenes. According to Fortune, Mezrich “describes his work as a ‘dramatic narrative account,’ explaining that he reconstructed dialogue and even, to the extent that it moved the story forward, entire scenes. Some would call this fiction. But Doubleday has bravely labeled it nonfiction.”
Mezrich is also author of Bringing Down the House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas for Millions, another controversial book detailing the “scandalous” adventures of Ivy League students. (Oh and by the way, Mezrich himself is a Harvard alum.)
The movie script was written by Aaron Sorkin, creator of The West Wing and A Few Good Men. David Fincher, known for his directorial work on Fight Club and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, may be directing the movie with producers Scott Rudin, Michael De Luca, Dana Brunetti, and Kevin Spacey. The search for the actor who will play Mark Zuckerberg is also underway, and so far comedic actor Michael Cera (Arrested Development) and action movie actor Shia LaBeouf (Transofrmers) are being eyed as leading candidates. CNET says that the team is leaning toward Cera, whose likability among the public will help offset the book’s portrayal of Zuckerberg as an “obnoxious nerd.”
Facebook is reportedly not pleased with these developments and has asked its employees not to comment on the movie. In any case, the fact that Facebook may be soon making an appearance on the big screen (and no, not your 30-inch monitor) is telling of the overall cultural impact the site has had since its launch 2004. With over 200 million users, Facebook is not just getting the attention of Internet users around the world, but the time and energy of writers and now Hollywood – something that even Internet giant Google didn’t receive. And despite the disfavor it is earning with Facebook, the Accidental Billionaires Facebook Page has over 1,000 fans on Facebook. So what do you think? Would you go watch this movie, and more important, would you believe it?