EDITORIALS

Aaron Sorkin's Facebook Script Might Actually Be Amazing

by
July 7, 2009
Source: ScriptShadow

David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin

Ah yes, Aaron Sorkin's movie about Facebook. "Imagine going from nothing to a billionaire in less than a year. How do you even grasp that kind of success? How do you live a normal life? How do you address the constant lawsuits that eat into your everyday existence? And how do you do this at 22 years old?" That's not the official pitch for The Social Network, as it's better known, but it might as well be. That was written by Carson Reeves who just published an early review of Sorkin's screenplay on his blog. And what did he think of it? "I just read a script that amazed me. Easily going into my top 10." Apparently it's that incredible.

We first heard that Aaron Sorkin had been hired to write this script late last year. But everything changed when it was announced a few weeks ago that David Fincher would be directing it. It seems that no one can believe that a movie about a popular social website could actually be any good. But that's because no one knew what it was really about. Following that Fincher news we posted an update saying that it was actually based on a book called "The Accidental Billionaires" written by Ben Mezrich that chronicled the story of how Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook in his dorm room at Harvard. The Social Network is that exact story.

Without spoiling too much of the story, The Social Network starts with Zuckerberg in a bar being dumped by his then girlfriend because he keeps changing conversations. From there the creation of what is to one day become Facebook begins, as those who are familiar with the story know that it started as a "Hot or Not"-like site for Harvard women before being re-imagined as a social community. While Carson says the script doesn't have a framework, he explains that it often jumps in and out of a present day legal battle that involves Zuckerberg being sued by his former business partners for all $16 billion that Facebook is worth.

Now you might start to understand why this is a bit more than a simple story about a website. "It's a story about greed, about obsession, about our belief that all the money in the world can make us happy. But it's also unpredictable, funny, touching, and sad. It gives us that rare glimpse into the improbable world of mega-success." Comedy, in a script like this, doesn't sound too appealing, but apparently it works very well.

Those unoriginal moments you've seen in every comedy spec written in the past year (including my own), where couples are arguing over Facebook-related issues (Girlfriend: "Why does your relationship status say you're single??") Well Sorkin uses them too. The only difference is that it's happening to the inventors of Facebook. And so the unoriginal becomes original, the stupid becomes hilarious. -- And don't get me started on Sean Parker - a character that can become iconic if the film is made. The brash techy rock star revels in his own ego, and is a key player in why Facebook is on our computers today.

That Sean Parker he is talking about is the very same Sean Parker that founded Napster in the 90's. Yep, he is even in this, too! I don't want to give away any more of his story, because he's one the greatest parts of this and his introduction is a key part of the founding of Facebook. As I tried to say when David Fincher's name first popped up in connection with this project, a director of his caliber obviously wouldn't have even considered this if it weren't a great story (and a great script), so I'm not sure why everyone thinks this will suck. According to Reeves, Sorkin's script is pretty amazing, which is both shocking and exciting to hear.

Ever since that Fincher news hit, I've been trying to convince people that this might actually be good, and that it is definitely not what anyone is expecting. I'm glad I now have a real review of Sorkin's script to back up my initial gut feeling. After learning more about the real story and exactly what Zuckerberg has had to go through - mainly with losing his best friend and ending up in enormous legal battles with almost everyone else - I suggest you go back and re-read that list of questions in the introduction to this article. Those are the kind of fascinating themes that I believe Sorkin is trying to address and that Fincher connected with.

I am very interested to see how this continues to develop. After this review and all the previous news about the adaptation of "The Accidental Billionaires" and so on, I would be more than happy to see Fincher direct this next. Not only is the time right (with social networking being as popular as it is) but I just think this sounds like it could be a great movie. That is, as long as it's just as amazing on the screen as it is on paper.

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  • REAL6
    Facebook - Paid for by the CIA
  • http://www.soloparolesparse.com/ soloparolesparse
    No doubts that if David Fincher will direct this film, this will be an interesting film, a different film. At the same way, no doubt that if David Fincher will direct this film, it will not be a film about social impact of Facebook. http://www.soloparolesparse.com/2009/06/david-fincher-e-shia-lebouf-per-un-film-su-facebook/
  • Fuelbot
    Aaron Sorkin's an incredible writer and David Fincher is a stickler for a well-written script, so I'm not expecting anything less.
  • Fingo
    Carson's pal also posted something about it http://tarsonmeads.blogspot.com/
  • Debbie Does Texas
    ROFL! That tarsen guy is fucking nuts.
  • http://img222.imageshack.us/img222/2408/blackbabyjesus.gif Crapola
    Fuck Facebook. And if your Twittering about taking a dump and never speaking to people in real life because your too busy social networking on the internet fuck you too. Just going to twitter this from my Iphone.....................
  • joblessmillions
    lol @ tarson meads
  • http://www.andreascliment.com Andreas Climent
    Sounds like it could be more intriguing than the idea of a "Facebook movie" sounds at first. If this turns out to be a success, can we expect the studios to jump at "Digg: The Movie"? ;)
  • http://www.bleepinggeek.com Pete the Geek
    Yes, but will it involve lots of scenes where people are walking and talking?
  • Son of George
    that tarson meads guy should be writing for this site. Genius!
  • Rage_Bot 3.0
    @ #4 thanks foer links. awesome stuff my man. fuck facebook.
  • Colin
    Wow, a blogger says the script is awesome? I can't wait.
  • Silence
    I may end up watching this only because of the director, but I still believe that Facebook should be obliterated from the face of the earth...I don't understand how this website could have possibly done so well. It's just another site to talk with people on. Geez, wasn't the phone enough for people? How about writing actual letters?
  • teh
    lol @ 12 lollollol @4
  • biohazzard
    Just can't see Fincher taking on a project like this. Weird. Fincher needs to hurry up with The Goon, and then make another dark thriller. Facebook movie, meh.
  • Barry Rosenberg
    Aaron's screenplay is based on Ben Mezrich's "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal" out July 14! How can you fail to mention this? Check out the Facebook Fan Page: http://tinyurl.com/nbp24r
  • Barry Rosenberg
    sorry, my bad...totally skimmed and missed you DID mention the book.
  • w00t!!!
    Awww....mine was deleted and it wasn't even offensive this time. Blah......
  • http://Gelfbury.com Jesse Gouldsbury
    I'm actually legitimately excited for this movie now. The book sounds interesting but seems like it could be more enjoyable in the movie format. I don't know much about Ben Mezrich's writings, so I could be way wrong.
  • http://alexmasterson.wordpress.com/ Digital Metaphor
    @Silence: What? Why would you want to send *letters* to people? Whatever happened to just shouting at whoever's at the other end of the cave, waiting for the mammoth hunting to start? Oh that's right, it's called the march of progress. ;D At least you have an amusingly appropriate name ¬_¬
  • Antioch
    Both lame and tired- This movie has come out ten times... they're just adding a different background
  • http://themoviemash.com/ Rabs
    I read in Variety today that Chris Nolan's next project following Inception is called, "For Tweet Sakes" and it's the story of how Twitter began. He said he wants to shoot with IMAX cameras again, but this time in 3D. Has anyone else heard this? :)
  • jasonmd2020
    @13 I'm on facebook, and it's different from the myspace crap to me because I used it to reconnect with people I've lost touch with. Phone numbers change & people move and lose track of each other and their addresses. Believe it or not people, Facebook has actually led to me seeing some of these people in THE REAL WORLD! Actually to the point of finding old bandmates and starting to play gigs again! It's just another form of communication people. Get over it.
  • prickly pete
    nerds!
  • Timothy
    Calling it the facebook movie doesn't help - especially with all these branded toy movies coming out, it sounds like that. But it's not. It's a movie ABOUT the guy who founded facebook, which is totally different than some kind of 'movie' they're putting together based on facebook. a la Pirates of the Caribbean.
  • w00t!!!
    How come #21 didn't get deleted? I said the exact samething. Alex is a wuss. Just let posts be unless they are racially or hurtfully offensive. My word. I guess I'll take back the wuss part. lol Facebook was once legit and clean and a nice network for people to find each other. Now it's MySpace lite without the ability to personalize your page with HTML. MySpace must feel threaten since they've been copying FB a lot lately.
  • jman571
    This is the whole point I was trying to make in the original post you guys made about this movie. ALEX WILL YOU PLEASE STOP MAKING THESE POSTS UNTIL YOU GET MORE INFO. You're making Hollywood out to be more retarded and incompetent than it actually is. Don't get me wrong, there's so many crappy movies, and I've become so jaded, that when I go to the video store these days, about half the time I walk out with nothing. But give the studios more credit than just green-lighting the "Asteroids" movie or the "Monopoly" movie. When you call something the "Facebook" movie it's like an other one or two word descriptor that the higher-ups can use to talk about it. This is exactly the kind of thing I read about 500 Days of Summer, the director wanted to avoid calling it a "romantic comedy" but that's what the studios pitched it as, as it's short and generally gets the idea of it. So obviously all of these one or two-word movie pitches aren't just going to take whatever board game, game, tv show, old movie and simply put it on screen, as you think of it. In almost all cases they are referencing a book, or just the concept. Just so you people understand what a concept is: I.E "The Sims Movie" takes the concept from the game that you can control the daily life of others, and the ACTUAL movie's story is that some guy meets God or something (thinking like Evan/Bruce Almighty here) and gets the power to like control one other person's life, and the life lessons he learns or some shit. Sounds like a big rip off of Stranger than Fiction, which is probably why this movie will NEVER GET MADE. which is not to say that aren't some good concepts out there. I really like coming here to First Showing, but if I see much more inane articles on these "one or two word" movie pitches, I'm going to stop coming. You're using these inane articles to criticize the movie studios without even understanding what you're reporting.
  • http://www.firstshowing.net Alex Billington
    #27 - What the heck are you talking about? How am I making Hollywood out to be a retard? I'm the one saying that Hollywood is smart for commissioning this. I'm criticizing everyone else (moviegoers) who thought it was a bad idea just because it was about Facebook without know more about it... I don't even know what you are saying man??
  • jman571
    Sorry I kinda ranted for most of that there. All I ask is that you feature less of these news articles (not this one, this one is great, it just happens to be the one I decided to comment on) where you just mention some movie being picked up by a studio, like the "Asteroids" movie article a little while back. Because these articles only lead to false impressions of whatever movie that will become, and make Hollywood look stupid for picking up these movies in the first place.
  • He tries so hard...
    Oh and those stupid Wars and applications. Now there is a page for everything you can think of. So when it gave you suggestions of friends of friends you might have been unable to look for or recall, you have to delete ice cream, islands, sunsets, the beach, 50 Cent, your mom, and numerous other crap. FB has went down hill and for newcomers is MySpace lite which you can tell who uses which one more. It's still divided by age mostly though and needs BS pages with real people that have a page. The clubs/groups were fine but now what was once groups have their own personal page like everyone else and pops up everywhere.
  • Ben
    I think this movie will be interesting. Rather Fincher wasn't working on it though, I know he has stepped off it, but I would have loved to see him make that serial killer movie with Matt Damon (forgot what it was called... Ness or something???). Anyways, I have hope this will be a good movie.
  • yondel
    cool site #4 some great stuff on there.
  • http://www.venturebeat.com Eric
    Here's the problem with the script. It's based on a book that is full of factual errors -- to the point that Gawker itself has been ridiculing it for quite some time. That's just how wrong it is. http://gawker.com/tag/ben-mezrich/ Don't believe Gawker? http://news.cnet.com/8301-13577_3-10247591-36.html I'm a technology journalist who has been covering Facebook closely for the past couple of years. I know Mark Zuckerberg and many of the other "characters" personally. They are nerds by any normal definition -- even Sean Parker. I haven't read the book, nor the script. But, both presumably exaggerate the few instances where some of the people partied. The true story of Facebook goes more like this: A bunch of awkward, ambitious young software developers sitting around coding and plotting to take over the world. To me, the real story is more fascinating. But I can understand why people put together a more falsified and sensational version -- it's what sells. I think those people are unethical. I can't respect them.
  • David Fincher
    I love to suck little preteen boys off that i met on Bebo not Facebook

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