Pictures appeared last week of Justin Timberlake on the set for upcoming movie The Social Network, a movie about the founding of popular social networking site, Facebook. Yes, they’re actually doing it.So once you’ve stopped laughing at the idea that they could make a movie about Facebook, think about this for a second. The Social Network is going to be directed by David Fincher, who also worked on last year’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Fight Club. The script is by Aaron Sorkin, who wrote the script for A Few Good Men and for television shows The West Wing and Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Maybe by now you’re a little puzzled. A high profile director and script writer? Justin Timberlake in one of the roles, with N*Sync style curls? This seems like serious business and I suppose the next question is whether the movie is going to be any good. They must have to bring the big guns to pull people away from Facebook to go and see a movie about how Facebook became a multi-billion dollar website.
The Social Network (aka Facebook: The Film) is reportedly based on the ‘non-fiction’ book The Accidental Billionaires: The founding of Facebook, a tale of sex, money, genius and betrayal. The book was written by Ben Mezrich and although it is classified as ‘non-fiction’, it is generally accepted as an exaggeration of what actually happened. While there are details gained fro interviews and documents, lots of them coming from a court case between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and his former classmates, Mezrich describes the book as a ‘dramatic narrative account’. Good old gossipy fun, with only a very loose basis in fact. After all, he had to throw in as many Jackie Collins-esque adjectives as possible in the title to make it interesting. Without them, it would have just been ‘The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook’.
So if the movie is to be based on this book, we can expect the same sort of thing. The sex, the money, the genius and the betrayal all given the full Hollywood treatment with a full dose of courtroom drama. “You stole my idea!” “So sue me!” “Maybe I will!” Maybe with Fincher and Sorkin on board it will be watchable, even if this very idea screams of straight-to-television afternoon movie material. Then next year we can all be very clever and update our Facebook statuses with our opinions of the Facebook movie.
Still, I can’t help but wonder about the title, ‘The Social Network’. Maybe we can hope for some deviation from the ’source’ material. It sounds like there should be a giant global conspiracy in the plot – Yoville is distracting you with new games and hacking into government computers with your profile! Too many people log into Facebook at once, leading to server meltdown and massive Hollywood explosions! And after implementing his evil plan to destroy the world through social networking, in the movie’s final scene Mark Zuckerberg sits in his executive chair stroking his newly-grown moustache with one hand and his fluffy white pet cat with the other, cackling with evil laughter.