Facebook flick moves ahead, but Facebook not thrilled

Remember that tell-all about Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook's early years? Not a huge surprise the company is reportedly warning ex-employees not to talk to anyone involved.

I won't believe it for sure until we see grainy paparazzi shots of actor Michael Cera walking around on a movie set in a North Face fleece and Adidas flip-flops, but it looks like things are moving forward on the film based on the early days of Facebook.

And, Business Insider hears, Facebook may be warning former employees not to talk to people involved with the making of the movie.

This is consistent with something I heard last fall from an early Facebook employee who is no longer with the company. This former Facebooker said the company had told the movie's team that it was unwilling to cooperate in the event that the film was based on a salacious new tell-all book about Facebook--and that indeed appears to be the case.

The movie, as you may recall, is spearheaded by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin and is reportedly based on a book by Bringing Down the House author Ben Mezrich, known for scandalous tales of ambition and temptation set at elite universities. That's a fine match for Facebook, which was founded by Mark Zuckerberg and some of his friends while they were all undergraduates at Harvard.

But when screenshots of Mezrich's book proposal were leaked to the Web last year , it became evident that Zuckerberg wasn't going to be painted in the best light, and also that there may be a gray area in the fact-checking department. The proposal mentions, for example, a scene in which Zuckerberg dines on exotic food on the yacht belonging to the CEO of Sun Microsystems; Scott McNealy, who would have been CEO of Sun at the time, openly professes to never having owned a boat.

Sounding like a darker and more cutthroat Revenge of the Nerds, the proposal talks about how Zuckerberg created Facebook so he could hook up with more girls--something that Facebook insiders scoff at because Zuckerberg has had the same girlfriend since before he built Facebook--and climbed to the top of Harvard's social ladder.

Mezrich's book is reportedly hitting stores this fall. There isn't yet a timeline on Sorkin's movie adaptation that we know of.

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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