Facebook biopic to be made on Zuckerberg and ‘A Few Good Friends’

28 Aug 2008

Veteran film director Aaron Sorkin has agreed to write a movie about Facebook, the social networking phenomenon, which will dramatise the life and times of founder Mark Zuckerberg. However, the makers of Poked! — a documentary on the phenomenon — are satisfied they are on the right track.

It emerged that Sorkin, who created US TV drama The West Wing as well as the movies A Few Good Men and Charlie Wilson’s War, is to write a biopic about Zuckerberg who started Facebook in 2004 while still a student at Harvard.

Facebook this week announced 100 million members worldwide and last year, after Microsoft paid US$240m for a 1.6pc stake, the company was valued at US$15bn.

Sorkin apparently admits to not being familiar with Facebook, or indeed social networking, but has opened a Facebook account to help his research.

Few details are available about the new movie, but it is understood to be a joint venture between Sony Pictures and producer Scott Rudin.

Meanwhile, enterprising digital-media entrepreneurs Stephen McCormack and Eamon Carey are ploughing ahead with their own film production about the Facebook phenomenon, entitled Poked!

Poked!is a documentary that follows the experiences of individuals from all walks of life who have their own comical, horror and love stories to relate from the popular social networking site.

A segment of Poked! entitled ‘Facebook Fattawa’ followed the experiences of a man who fell in love with a Muslim girl he was seeing only to end up receiving death threats from her brothers who found both of their Facebook profiles was made especially for the Irish Film Board.

McCormack says he is not perturbed by the idea of another film being made — in fact, he says it lends credence to the venture.

“We’re currently in pre-production stage and finalising financing and we’re at the stage where we’re deciding whether it should be a feature for theatres or appear as a six-part television documentary.

“The stories are about people’s experiences, whether falling in love or being sacked from their jobs. It has evolved over time to cover a lot of other social networking stories to even include things such as Twitter, which wasn’t really around when we set out.”

Asked who he thought should play Mark Zuckerberg in the Sorkin production, McCormack says without hesitation: “I think the guy who played Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) would make a great Mark Zuckerberg. And you can quote me on that!”

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years