Facebook Execs and 'Social Network': Not Friends
By Christine Fenno Posted Aug 22nd 2010 12:31PM
In a New York Times article published this weekend, 'Social Network' producer Scott Rudin talks about his largely futile attempts to involve Facebook, or at least obtain their tacit blessing on the film -- which depicts Zuckerberg as an ambitious player and willing betrayer of his cohorts, while also capturing the enormous achievement of his vision. Now 26, Zuckerberg declined to comment for the article.
With no apologies, Rudin says Zuckerberg is "simultaneously a builder and a destroyer." He adds, "It's a big subject. It's a big American subject." (Zuckerberg doesn't seem to think it is. He told ABC's Diane Sawyer in July, "The real story is actually probably pretty boring....We just sat at our computers for six years and coded.")
And what's Sorkin's take on his hero/antihero? The script leaked online clearly portrays Zuckerberg as a 19-year-old brainiac with nothing more than a motivation to be accepted socially, and the tech savvy to make it happen. Much of the story is reportedly based on depositions in cases (settled by Zuckerberg and his company's attorneys) that were filed in efforts to vie for a stake in Facebook.
According to the Times, David Kirkpatrick, author of 'The Facebook Effect' (which is not source material for 'The Social Network'), insists that too many details in the movie are fictional and "horrifically unfair." And Chris Hughes, a Facebook cofounder who left the company three years ago, concurs: "All of a sudden Mark becomes this person who created Facebook to get girls or to gain power....That's not what was going on. It was a little more boring and quotidian than that."
Rudin says that during production, he reached out to show the script and a cut of the film to top Facebook execs, who he says "saw the movie a while ago, and they do not like it." Rudin admits the filmmakers did accomodate small requests for changes to the script, but says, "We made exactly the movie we wanted to make."
In recent weeks, Zuckerberg -- considered the youngest billionaire in the world -- has been consistently reluctant to even acknowledge 'The Social Network,' dismissing it as "a distraction" and insisting, "The movie is fiction."
Obviously this goes without saying, but anyone wanting to learn more about 'The Social Network' can always visit...its Facebook page.
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