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Facebook movie casts Timberlake, Eisenberg

The long-awaited Facebook movie begins production in Boston next month.

By Andrew Heining / September 23, 2009

I've seen your face somewhere: Mark Zuckerberg (l.) will be played by Jesse Eisenberg.

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What could fill seats at a movie about the world's most popular social network better than Justin Timberlake? Justin Timberlake and that guy who kinda looks like Andy Samberg.

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Variety reports that the David Fincher-directed project, about "how overnight success and wealth changed the lives of the classmates who created [Facebook]," has its core cast in place and is slated to begin production next month in Boston.

Lined up to play Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg is Jesse Eisenberg (see him this week in Zombieland). Pop star and frequent SNL stand-in Justin Timberlake will take a turn as early Facebook investor Sean Parker. Relative unknown Andrew Garfield steps in as Eduardo Saverin, the co-founder who had a falling-out with Zuckerberg as the site was taking off.

The script, penned by Aaron Sorkin of West Wing fame, is an adaptation of author Ben Mezrich's book, "The Accidental Billionares," an unofficial retelling of the story of how Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, and Sean Parker conceived of and launched the site. The book, released this summer, was plagued almost from its inception by claims that it strayed too far from reality, embellishing events. (The same claims were made about Mezrich's first hit, 2000's "Bringing Down the House," which was billed as "the inside story of six MIT students who took vegas for millions" and become the movie "21.")

While not as controversial, Timberlake's portrayal of Parker, Facebook's first president, is ironic: Tech watchers will remember that Parker co-founded Napster, the site that pioneered illegal downloads of pop music such as Timberlake's.

Facebook recently made headlines for teaming with ratings company Nielsen in the interest of tracking online ads.

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