Facebook, the movie: the Facebook group

Aaron Sorkin is doing a movie about Facebook. The whole thing seems fake at first.

The man behind "The West Wing," "Studio 60," and "A Few Good Men" has a history of unease with web culture – he even wrote a West Wing episode about it. So a bunch of bloggers scratched their heads when a seemingly legit Facebook group called "Aaron Sorkin & the Facebook Movie" popped up on the popular social network.

Welcome. I'm Aaron Sorkin. I understand there are a few other people using Facebook pages under my name--which I find more flattering than creepy--but this is me. I don't know how I can prove that but feel free to test me.

This afternoon we found out that, yeah, it really is him – or at least his assistant. And, yes, he really is doing a movie about Facebook.

The news is baffling on several levels:

For one, the web is so flush with pranksters that we've all been trained to assume that anyone we meet online is actually a dog. AMC recently ordered Twitter to take down several microblogs from people pretending to be characters from the TV hit "Mad Men." Yesterday, the cable network seemed to have changed its mind and the unofficial lives of Don Draper, Roger Sterling, and Peggy Olson returned. These spoofs have targeted real people as well. The now defunct The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs is a great example.

Second, it's also hard to believe that any celebrity who's uncomfortable with the web would dare trudge into an open forum like Facebook. Several years ago, Sorkin had a bruising experience with the Internet message board Television Without Pity. (A spat over a former West Wing writer turned ugly.) This time, Sorkin's online audience seems to be playing nice. If he is working on a Facebook movie (Facebook isn't participating at this point), then it's good to see Sorkin diving into the subject. Too bad he missed the Scrabulous craze.

But this brings me to curiosity No. 3: Why Facebook? There must be a more interesting Silicon Valley start-up. Mark Zuckerberg goes to Harvard, does some coding for the ConnectU crew, decides to split off and start his own website, Facebook hits gold, he moves to California, gets sued by the ConnectU crew, settles the case, earns millions of dollars – roll credits. Let's see if Sorkin can tease out a better story than the Apple/Microsoft feud film "Pirates of Silicon Valley" or the recent "August," about a start-up on Wall Street. Neither was very well received.

On a silly note: If this movie ever materializes, I have casting suggestion for the lead role: Jacob Zachar, who was seemingly cast to play Mark Zuckerberg in the ABC Family frat dramedy "Greek."

[Via LA Times]

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