Sneak Peek: Poster for David Fincher's 'The Social Network' hints at controversy
One of the more intriguing releases this fall for both moviegoers and awards season watchers is David Fincher's "The Social Network." A big departure from the acclaimed filmmaker's last two films, "Zodiac" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," his latest drama is based on the real life story of the men behind Facebook and, more specifically, Mark Zuckerberg, who reportedly pushed his co-founders aside to become the face of the company.
The film is based on the book "Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook, A Tale o Sex, Money, Genius, and Betrayal." If that title alone doesn't perk your interest, how about the new poster's tagline: "You Don't Get to 500 Million Friends Without Making A Few Enemies." The picture's cast includes Jesse Eisenberg as Zuckerberg (not a close resemblance really), Justin Timberlake as Napster founder Sean Parker (an eventual executive in the company) as well as Andrew Garfield, Rooney Mara, Rashida Jones and Max Minghella. Powerhouse producers Scott Rudin , Mike DeLuca and Kevin Spacey make the creative mix even more intriguing.
Considering the negative press Facebook had had to deal with regarding their privacy options over the past six months, it will be interesting to see how the film and its shady details affect the public's outlook on the social network. The rise and fall of MySpace was swifter than many anticipated and many online trend watchers believe users aren't as loyal to online networks like Facebook as they would be to physical products. Therefore, they could easily jump ship when something "better" come along. Could "The Social Network" be a marker on that journey or will it have no effect at all?
This pundit is also curious if distributor Sony Pictures will even be allowed to market the movie on Facebook or if they will even try. There is a fan page for the film, but it doesn't seem to be set up specifically by Sony. The official site, on the other hand, curiously uses a "Recommend" tool instead of the "Like" option that proliferates throughout Facebook. Curious indeed. In any event, the new poster is one of Sony's finer efforts to date, but something tells me that has more to do with Rudin and FIncher than anything else.
[Update - Sat. June 19 Sony has informed Awards Campaign that advertising on Facebook is completely out of its control. A spokesman told HitFix, "Facebook's advertising guidelines, prohibit the use of their logos, marks, and employee names, among other restrictions. These guidelines apply to any film advertised on their site, not just to ours. But given their policies it's not possible for us to advertise this title on Facebook." So, there you go. Seems like Facebook has been keen to protect their brand for some time.]
What do you think?
"The Social Network" opens nationwide on Oct. 1.
For the latest entertainment commentary and breaking news year round, follow Gregory Ellwood on Twitter @HitFixGregory .