'The Social Network' filming starts in Boston soon

But will star Justin Timberlake be on set? That's what locals want to know, apparently.

The crew of "The Social Network," the David Fincher-directed retelling of Facebook's earliest days, is headed to film in the Boston area soon with a widely reported start date of October 19.

Rumors on Web forums indicate that the Harvard Square neighborhood of Cambridge, Mass.--the eponymous university's epicenter--will be the backdrop for some scenes involving actor Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Eisenberg himself has been quoted as saying that the movie will actually be filming on Harvard's campus, something that the university would not confirm.

Facebook was founded in a dorm at Harvard when Zuckerberg was a sophomore there; he later dropped out to run the site full-time. "The Social Network" script was based on writer Ben Mezrich's "The Accidental Billionaires," an unauthorized tale of Facebook's origins that doesn't portray Zuckerberg in the most positive manner.

Boston.com reported Thursday that a Somerville pub called the Thirsty Scholar has confirmed that it'll be used as a filming location, but couldn't confirm what everybody wants to know--whether pop star Justin Timberlake, who plays early Facebook exec Sean Parker, will be on-set.

Here's the catch. I've read the Aaron Sorkin-penned script for "The Social Network"--granted, it's a draft with a May 2009 date on it, so who knows what has changed--and Sean Parker doesn't even appear in any Boston scenes. Sorry, Boston.

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