Fincher's Facebook Movie is Actually Based on Ben Mezrich's Book
When the news hit yesterday that David Fincher, of all people, was going to direct Aaron Sorkin's script about Facebook called The Social Network, most people flipped out. There's just no way a project about Facebook would be worthy of a director like Fincher. However, I just knew there was something more to it, but I couldn't put my finger on it. Thankfully my friend Peter from SlashFilm gave me a call to let me know that he discovered that Sorkin's script is actually based on a book called "The Accidental Billionaires" that was written by Ben Mezrich - the same guy who wrote the book that blackjack movie 21 was based on.
Mark Zuckerberg created Facebook when he was studying at Harvard with his roommate Eduardo Saverin, but there's a much bigger story. Ben Mezrich, who wrote the book "Bringing Down the House" about MIT students counting cards, decided to write a book about Zuckerberg as well. It's full title is "The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal" and it hits store in July (you can pre-order it now on Amazon). Also found on Amazon is a review of the book by Kevin Spacey himself, who said that he first met Mezrich while working on 21. "Ben has a gift for finding high-energy, strange-but-true tales and The Accidental Billionaires is no exception." Here's a look at the full story:
Eduardo Saverin and Mark Zuckerberg were Harvard undergraduates and best friends–outsiders at a school filled with polished prep-school grads and long-time legacies. They shared both academic brilliance in math and a geeky awkwardness with women.
Eduardo figured their ticket to social acceptance–and sexual success–was getting invited to join one of the university’s Final Clubs, a constellation of elite societies that had groomed generations of the most powerful men in the world and ranked on top of the inflexible hierarchy at Harvard. Mark, with less of an interest in what the campus alpha males thought of him, happened to be a computer genius of the first order.
Which he used to find a more direct route to social stardom: one lonely night, Mark hacked into the university's computer system, creating a ratable database of all the female students on campus–and subsequently crashing the university's servers and nearly getting himself kicked out of school. In that moment, in his Harvard dorm room, the framework for Facebook was born.
Now you might start to understand why this is not only a fascinating story as is, but a good fit for David Fincher. So we probably won't see Zuckerberg fighting a self-imagined Brad Pitt or making soap, but I imagine Sorkin has crafted a very fascinating script based on this book and his real life story. Plus, I don't think we have to worry that this will turn out like 21, for those of you that disliked that movie, because with Sorkin writing and Fincher directing, they'll adapt Mezrich's book in a much different way. If you want to read Kevin Spacey's review of the book or hear more about Zuckerberg's story, then head over to Amazon.
I hope this gets a few of you to change your opinion on Fincher's attachment to The Social Network. Sure, it's a movie about Facebook, which doesn't sound great at first, but I guarantee you there's a great story worth telling or he wouldn't be involved. Now it's a question of who he'll cast to play Mark Zuckerberg.