'The Social Network' Movie Preview

By Chloe Bunker on October 1, 2010

The Social Network, movie, preview, Jesse Eisenberg, pictures, picture, photos, photo, pics, pic, images, image, hot, sexy, latest, new, 2010HOLLYWOOD, Calif. — Every age has its visionaries who leave, in the wake of their genius, a changed world – but rarely without a battle over exactly what happened and who was there at the moment of creation.

In The Social Network, director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin explore the moment at which Facebook, the most revolutionary social phenomena of the new century, was invented — through the warring perspectives of the super-smart young men who each claimed to be there at its inception. The result is a drama rife with both creation and destruction; one that audaciously avoids a singular POV, but instead, by tracking dueling narratives, mirrors the clashing truths and constantly morphing social relationships that define our time.

Drawn from multiple sources, the film moves from the halls of Harvard to the cubicles of Palo Alto as it captures the visceral thrill of the heady early days of a culture-changing phenomenon in the making — and the way it both pulled a group of young revolutionaries together and then split them apart. In the midst of the chaos are Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), the brilliant Harvard student who conceived a website that seemed to redefine our social fabric overnight; Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), once Zuckerberg's close friend, who provided the seed money for the fledgling company; Napster founder Sean Parker (Justin Timberlake) who brought Facebook to Silicon Valley's venture capitalists; and the Winklevoss twins (Armie Hammer and Josh Pence), the Harvard classmates who asserted that Zuckerberg stole their idea and then sued him for ownership of it.

Watch: The Social Network Cast Interviews

Each has his own narrative, his own version of the Facebook story - but they add up to more than the sum of their parts in what becomes a multi-level portrait of 21st Century success – both the youthful fantasy of it and its finite realities as well.

"The themes of the movie are as old as storytelling itself: loyalty, friendship, power, money, envy, social status, jealousy," explains Sorkin. "It's a story that if Aeschylus were alive today, he'd have written; Shakespeare would have written; Paddy Chayefsky would have written. Fortunately for me, none of those people were available, so I got to write it."

The more he learned about Facebook's highly disputed origins, the more Sorkin was intrigued by how it seemed to serve as a crisp, close-up snapshot of this very specific time in American life – and equally of such enduring human subjects as genius, power and emptiness. For as technologically brilliant and keyed-in to digital lifestyles as these young upstarts are, they are also, in Sorkin's portrait, brash, angry and never quite emotionally fulfilled.

"I think there's a construct in the movie, which is that you can look at all the multi-faceted aspects of Mark Zuckerberg that made him successful and perceive them completely differently depending on who you relate to in the story," says Sorkin. "Mark is driven either by strength or weakness, fear or courage, vision or expedience – and the movie is constantly trafficking in the fine line between those things."

"Mark is an anti-hero who becomes a tragic hero by the end of the movie because he pays a price along the way," adds Sorkin. "He is fundamentally a hacker, and hackers are, by nature, anarchists. It's about thumbing your nose at the establishment, it's about tearing down what you believe is in your way. And who is Mark revolting against? It's the people who are somehow making the world a place that makes him unhappy. In Mark's case, the idea of self-worth has alchemized itself into anger, very sharp-edged anger. But anger is fuel to him, it's rocket fuel and then he has this Eureka idea, and his life seems made. But the very last thing he wants to do – and this is a huge part of the movie – is to kill Facebook by commoditizing it, by having it make money and not be anarchistic. That's the story of the movie – the journey from hacker to CEO. The journey of the film is nothing less than a Horatio Alger story, but our version is this lonely kid in a dorm room who in a very short time becomes a very important figure in the world we live in right now."

The film is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich.