Eisenberg, Timberlake cast in Facebook movie

In "The Social Network," "Adventureland" star Jesse Eisenberg will play Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and pop star Justin Timberlake will play entrepreneur Sean Parker.

Jesse Eisenberg, pictured here with 'Adventureland' co-star Kristen Stewart, will be playing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in 'The Social Network.' Miramax Films

"Adventureland" star Jesse Eisenberg will be playing Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and singer Justin Timberlake will be playing Silicon Valley mainstay Sean Parker in "The Social Network," director David Fincher's cinematic adaptation of the company's early days.

(Well, it's the company's early days as depicted in Ben Mezrich's juicy and most-definitely-not-authorized "The Accidental Billionaires," which some have criticized for being factually liberal.)

The news was first reported by Variety, which added that actor Andrew Garfield will be playing Zuckerberg's Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin. Garfield is perhaps best known for his role in the 2007 Robert Redford film "Lions for Lambs."

Production for Columbia Pictures' "The Social Network," which was written by "The West Wing" creator Aaron Sorkin, is reportedly going to begin in October in Boston.

We heard a few months back that the producers were looking at some bigger names to play Zuckerberg : perpetually typecast nerd Michael Cera and "Transformers" star Shia LaBeouf. But it looks like they're putting the real star power instead into the casting of Timberlake as Sean Parker.

Eisenberg, who turns 26 in a few weeks, is a decently big name himself: he's also been seen in "The Squid and the Whale" and "The Village." Timberlake's musical reputation needs no introduction (he got his start, after all, in boy band 'N Sync), but his best-known acting role might be the "Saturday Night Live" short "D*** in a Box."

UPDATE at 11:11 a.m. PT: It looks like the casting rumors were first reported earlier this month by the blog Scriptshadow, albeit in a far less concrete context than Variety--and the report's coincidence with the Labor Day holiday weekend likely kept it under the radar.

About the author

Caroline McCarthy, a CNET News staff writer, is a downtown Manhattanite happily addicted to social-media tools and restaurant blogs. Her pre-CNET resume includes interning at an IT security firm and brewing cappuccinos.

 

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