June 21, 2010

Facebook: The movie - it's coming

Is there any topic beyond the reach of Hollywood? With a Facebook movie on its way to the silver screen, the answer seems to be no.

"The Social Network" reportedly follows Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's time at Harvard and the trials he faced along the way while creating the world's most popular social network.

The tagline on the poster reads: "You don't get to 500 million friends without making a few enemies."

I feel strangely compelled to say that Zuck hasn't quite made it to 500 million pals, unless every user is his friend by default.

He doesn't actually have a personal Facebook account, which makes his public figure profile the next best thing, with 558,785 people liking him at time of writing.

Still more than me, though... you win this round, Zucker.

So how do you think this movie will play out? Will it follow a fairly realistic and true-to-life style, involving college dorm antics, some skulduggery and maybe a sweaty interview, or will it embellish facts for the big screen?

I'm hoping that it is the latter - I'm picturing Zuckerberg running from mobs of angry Facebook users screaming about their right to privacy being taken as Mark turns to shout "Facebook is for sharing, not hiding!"

Then again... that's actually quite realistic.

I also wonder if this is just the movie industry's latest attempt to capitalise on a trend. Will this be just another cheap thriller masked in social media self-indulgence?

fbposterOr maybe I'm being too harsh and there is a decent story behind the guy who became the world's youngest billionaire.

There is already a book about Facebook's creation, The Accidental Billionaires, and the movie will supposedly draw from it.

An excerpt from the book reads:

"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...

"...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...

"What followed - a real-life adventure filled with slick venture capitalists, stunning women, and six-foot-five-inch identical-twin Olympic rowers-makes for one of the most entertaining and compelling books of the year.

"Before long, Eduardo's and Mark's different ideas about Facebook created in their relationship faint cracks, which soon spiralled into out-and-out warfare. The collegiate exuberance that marked their collaboration fell prey to the adult world of lawyers and money.

"The great irony is that while Facebook succeeded by bringing people together, its very success tore two best friends apart."

The movie is due to be released in October.

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