By Phil Contrino
The announcement came yesterday that Aaron Sorkin is working on a script based on the creation of Facebook for producer Scott Rudin ( No Country for Old Men ). But will audiences want to "friend" the film?
Putting all initial curiosity aside, the project already boasts a level of pedigree that should alleviate any concerns.
Sorkin recently tackled the extremely complicated true-life story of Texas congressman Charlie Wilson for Mike Nichols' Charlie Wilson's War, so putting together a movie about a Harvard undergrad, Mark Zuckerberg, who started a social-networking phenomenon should seem like a walk in the park. Meanwhile, Scott Rudin is one of the most powerful producers working today and he has been behind Oscar heavyweights such as No Country and The Hours as well as mainstream successes such as South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and Zoolander.
So, in keeping with the social-networking theme, B OXOFFICE reached out to Sorkin fans from around the world who count themselves among the over 100 million users of Facebook, to see what their opinion of the project was.
"I saw this story in the paper earlier today, and I was quite surprised. Not really what you'd intuitively associate with a film, or even Sorkin for that matter, but I'm sure he'll make it work. Although, he should concentrate on the Flaming Lips musical !" responded Daniel MacPherson of Sydney, Australia via a Facebook message. MacPherson is 20 years old and he has been using the site for about a year.
"I think he is brilliant to grasp the deep relevance of this form of networking (really, it isn't just Facebook, but this site does provide a good example of the phenomenon) and being the outstanding wordsmith he is, I am very excited to see how his story evolves. It is one thing to analyze a social development after the fact, but something else entirely to appreciate it in real time," said 37-year-old Laurie McCannell from Ottawa, Ontario. McCannell joined the site four months ago after an old friend from high school convinced her of its benefits.
While there is the potential for Sorkin's script to be unconventional, there are certainly still parts of the Facebook story that should prove ripe for conventional drama. Zuckerberg has faced lawsuits from fellow Harvard students claiming that he stole source coding and intellectual property. Plus, despite billion dollar offers, Zuckerberg has chosen to keep the site independent, unlike his MySpace counterparts who made headlines when they sold their web empire to Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
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