The Facebook Doesn’t “Like” ‘The Social Network’ Facebook Movie
Don’t expect Sony, the studio behind “The Social Network,” to receive a friend request from Facebook anytime soon.
The new David Fincher-directed quasi-fictional movie about the famed social networking site isn’t exactly being met with open arms (or even a poke) by the company’s top brass. Facebook’s take on the matter could be summed up by paraphrasing a quote from one Fincher’s best-known films: You don’t talk about “The Social Network.”
Or, to elaborate on the “Fight Club” phrase: don’t talk about “The Social Network” publicly. Behind the scenes, founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg — portrayed by Jessie Eisenberg in the film– claims many of the scenes in the movie are pure fiction.
In July, Zuckerberg participated in an interview in front of an audience at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA. Zuckerberg made it clear that he doesn’t want the film to be seen as a true biopic.
“Honestly,” Zuckerberg told the Silicon Valley crowd, “I wish that when people try to do journalism or write stuff about Facebook, that they at least try to get it right.”
Zuckerberg was also asked why he didn’t allow himself to be interviewed for the book that the film was based on (“The Accidental Billionaires,” which, incidentally, is filed in the business and biographies sections at Amazon.com).
“The reason why we didn’t participate is because it was very clear that it was fiction from the beginning,” the 26-year-old social networking wunderkind said. “I mean, he [author Ben Mezrich] basically told us, ‘you know, what I’m most interested is in telling the most interesting story, right? ‘And we want to make sure that we’re never — that we never participate in something like that so then someone can take something that’s really fictional and say, and ‘we talked to Mark Zuckerberg for this.'”
Chris Hughes, a Facebook co-founder, agrees with Zuckerberg’s assessment, telling the New York Times, “It’s crazy because all of a sudden Mark becomes this person who created Facebook to get girls or to gain power.” Adding: “That’s not what was going on. It was a little more boring and quotidian than that.”
Regardless of what Facebook thinks of “The Social Network” (at least two Facebook executives who saw the film claim not to like it), an early review is quite glowing.
“This is very rich material for a movie on such timeless subjects as power and privilege,” writes the New York Film Festival’s Scott Foundas. “And such intrinsically 21st-century ones as the migration of society itself from the real to the virtual sphere-and David Fincher’s ‘The Social Network’ is big and brash and brilliant enough to encompass them all.”
“The Social Network,” directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, premieres first at the New York Film Festival on September 24. It opens nationwide on October 1.