If an anonymous source is correct, the confirmed screenplay-in-the-works about Facebook's origins by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin is tied to a forthcoming book about the social network by Bringing Down The House author Ben Mezrich.
Independent Harvard alumni publication 02138 reported on Friday that the film rights to Mezrich's book had been acquired by Sony Pictures Entertainment and producer Scott Rubin, who have been confirmed as the backers of Sorkin's screenplay.
Here's the backstory: A partial book proposal from Mezrich, who has come under scrutiny for allegedly exaggerating details in his nonfiction works, leaked to a gossip blog this spring.
With a working title of Face Off, the plot concerns Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's soured relationship with early Facebook executive Eduardo Saverin, who appears to have been in close contact with Mezrich for the book, while they were both undergraduates at Harvard. The proposal described Zuckerberg and Saverin getting caught up in Silicon Valley excess, partying like celebrities all over the world, until a showdown between them turned ugly.
Sources close to Zuckerberg's Harvard days have indicated to CNET News that the scant detail available in the book proposal is of questionable veracity; one went so far as to say the content contained "some real bull****." At the time, it wasn't even clear that the book proposal was legitimate, since neither Mezrich nor his publisher, Doubleday, are willing to confirm it, but sources who spoke to 02138 seem to indicate that it's a done deal.
02138 has occasionally faced off with Facebook: last year, the magazine published a scathing piece about Zuckerberg that exposed extensive personal details about the young founder's life, leading to a brief legal spat.
In other news, readers of gossip blog Valleywag seem to agree that Mark Zuckerberg should be played onscreen by Arrested Development star Michael Cera.