Aaron Sorkin is indeed working on a Facebook movie — which Valleywag readers think should star Superbad's Michael Cera — but not with Facebook's permission, says a company flack. "We are routinely approached by writers and filmmakers interested in telling the Facebook story. We are certainly flattered by the attention and interest, but at this point, have not agreed to cooperate with any film project." Probably the main reason Facebook wants no part of Sorkin's movie is because he's basing his screenplay on author Ben Mezrich's forthcoming book, which according to published excerpts, seems to be about as sympathetic to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg as Thunderball was to Adolpho Celi. (Photo by Getty Images)
Why would anyone not think Aaron Sorkin is working on a movie about Facebook? "You can't handle the truth!" That's the line Sorkin penned for Jack Nicholson in 1992's A Few Good Men. Nicholson might well have been speaking to some of our readers, who reacted poorly to the news that the West Wing writer was working on a movie about Mark Zuckerberg's creation. One begged us to uncover the fraud: "The BBC, the Guardian and New York Magazine are all over the totally fake-seeming Aaron Sorkin movie about Facebook. Please get to the bottom of this horrible joke." Sorry, you'll have to handle this: Sorkin himself confirmed that he is indeed planning a movie about how Zuckerberg and his Harvard classmates created Facebook.Rather, Sorkin's publicist, Joy Fehily, tells us, on his behalf. Or whoever answers her email. With all the layers of secretaries and managers and representatives in Hollywood, you can never tell. Yesterday, Sorkin's agent's assistant issued a nondenial, before politely informing us, "I have to hang up on you now." Likewise, the skeptics will have to hang up on any remaining doubts that Sorkin is behind this movie. Really, could anyone else do the movie? Sorkin is the master of the office drama, picking up on the details that make an inside-baseball story at once believable to insiders and entertaining to outsiders. If it had been anyone but Sorkin, we would have scoffed, too.
Is "West Wing" writer Aaron Sorkin making "The Facebook Movie," as someone going by his name on Facebook claims? I called Aaron Sorkin's agent, Ari Emanuel — yes, the inspiration for Jeremy Piven's character in "Entourage" — and got his assistant. She said: "I'm not denying anything. I just can't comment for the company." Meanwhile, New York got a an emailed confirmation from producer Scott Rudin. Email? People, Facebook messages are totally the way to go here.
Aaron Sorkin — the guy who wrote films A Few Good Men, The American President andCharlie Wilson's War as well as TV shows West Wing, Sports Night and Studio 60 — is working with Sony and the producer of No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood to write The Facebook Movie. Either that, or there's a very dedicated Fake Aaron Sorkin out there, who's created a detailed Facebook page — going so far as to respond each wall post — in order to fool us all. Writes Sorkin — or his imposter:
We invite devoted Defamer readers to think back now, to almost two years ago to the day. The U.S. dollar dominated global free markets. Whitney Houston was in the middle of a liquor-store-robbery crime spree that left dozens dead. And a little show by the name of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip had captured the imaginations of the American working class, caught up weekly in its by-turns harrowing and inspirational tales from the front lines of the network sketch comedy wars. If you're still with us, you'll too recall Defaker, the Defamer-inspired mock gossip site that attempted to promote the series on NBC.com by opening itself up to visitor comments. Several harsh insights followed ("Aaron Sorkin, I'll be seeing you soon! Posted by: Crack | September 21, 2006 08:30 PM" springs to mind), the site was quickly shuttered, and the ill-conceived exercise was chocked up by the lauded series creator as yet another example of the ugliness that will inevitably spring forth from the anonymous blogging wilds.We review all this as introduction to quite possibly the most exciting online development to roll across our virtual desktops in quite some time. Aaron Sorkin, or someone who has gone to a great deal of effort to convince others he is Aaron Sorkin, has emerged from his self-imposed, blogophobic exile to openly embrace the social networking phenomenon known as Facebook. From his introductory letter entitled, Aaron Sorkin & The Facebook Movie:
PrivacyWatch celebrity sightings are submitted by our readers, and are posted several times a week, so send them in often—the fate of the universe relies upon it! Submit yours to tips[AT]defamer.com (please put "sighting" or "PrivacyWatch" in the subject line so we don't lose them) and tell everyone about the time you spotted Tara Reid having her credit card denied at Blockbuster.
With the final episodes of ill-fated sociopolitical drama Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip now all ignominiously burned off by the network that renounced its onetime anointed Nielsen Messiah, showrunner Aaron Sorkin is ready to reflect upon the possible reasons that his much-hyped peak behind the scenes at a curiously humorless late night sketch comedy show failed. (In case you missed it, our recap of the series finale is here to help you get some closure.) While Sorkin is willing to admit to making "too many mistakes for it to survive," he posits that Our Obsession With Hugely Successful, Famously Troubled Man Behind The Curtain might have gotten in the way of the public's enjoyment of his characters' lively banter about the ethics of employing hostage-reclaiming mercenaries in Afghanistan or concerning potentially fatal pregnancy complications. Reports the LAT's Patrick Goldstein after a sit-down with Sorkin:
· Onetime NBC Messiah Aaron Sorkin has signed on for a three-picture deal with DreamWorks. First up is a script for The Trial of the Chicago 7, a period political piece about the clash between protestors and police at the 1968 Democratic convention that Sorkin was able to adapt from an unaired Studio 60 sketch in which Lobster Boy and new character Pigasus the Immortal argue over who might be the better Yippee candidate for president. [Variety]
· Katherine McPhee is, by far, the hottest American Idol runner-up in Hollywood right now, landing a role in the still-untitled Anna Faris comedy about the Playboy bunny who teaches some lame sorority girls how to unleash their inner tart. In an empowering way! [THR]
You may not have realized it, but at just a couple of minutes before 11 p.m. last night, the final credits rolled on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, ending Aaron Sorkin's bold, ill-fated experiment in melding the light-hearted Hollywood world of late-night sketch comedy shows with the absurdly high geopolitical stakes of his Emmy-winning White House drama, The West Wing. And while a lesser showrunner recently chose to cloak the last moments of his beloved series in frustrating ambiguity, Sorkin was confident enough in his creative choices to allow a metaphorical Man in the Members Only Jacket to wander the halls of the darkened studio, bringing each storyline to a satisfying conclusion with a bullet to the back of every character's head. Because we suspect that many of you missed the series finale, we're happy to run down how each of your favorite players finished up his or her primetime existence. [Warning to the DVR users whose selfish insistence on time-shifting the show kept it from reaching its Nielsen potential: There are spoilers ahead.]
· Aaron Sorkin returns to Broadway with The Farnsworth Invention, a play about the birth of television, the deliciously flawed storytelling medium he recently sought to redeem with a little-seen primetime serial about the life-or-death stakes involved in producing a weekly sketch comedy show. [Variety]
· Thomas Haden Church is in negotiations to join Sandra Bullock in All About Steve, a romantic comedy that should reinvigorate the moribund genre by focusing on the previously unseen pairing (we think?) of a lady who writes crosswords and a CNN cameraman. [THR]
· Michael Moore's Sicko sells out the single NY screen on which it debuted, bringing in $70,000 over the weekend. [Variety]
· The Agent Dance, Abbreviated Mid-Level Actresses We Can't Get Excited About Edition: Heroes' Hayden Panettiere signs with WMA, while Julia Stiles hooks up with ICM. [Variety, THR]
· Cartoon Network and Hasbro are co-producing a new Transformers animated series, which will reimagine the property as a "superheroes story" with robots featuring "a lot more human qualities, allowing kids to identify with the characters" they will soon mindlessly consume in an all-new toy line. [THR]
As the TV upfronts are intended to be a weeklong celebration of possibility and hope, there is generally no place in a network's presentation to advertisers to pause briefly and remember the once-beloved projects that won't be going forward into the Fall season; accordingly, it took a reporter's uncomfortable question to get NBC president Kevin Reilly to reflect upon the legacy of the newly euthanized Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, whose uncompromising, visionary showrunner was just one year ago anointed the savior of the last-place network. Notes the TV Week upfronts blog:
NBC's website quietly brings good—nay, great, shout-Huzzah!-to-the-heavens-and-slaughter-the-fatted-calf—news to Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip's legion of affluent, upscale, and long-suffering fans: The show will return to the airwaves on Thursday, May 24, presumably to burn off the remainder of its first-season episodes, just one day after the end of May sweeps and a week after the network is expected to announce a Sorkin-free Fall lineup at the upfronts. Of course, maverick NBC president Kevin Reilly could shock the world by taking the stage in NY and announcing he's giving the show another 22 episodes, explaining to a room full of disbelieving advertisers, "Come on, it's Aaron Fucking Sorkin! He made The West Wing! I know this sounds crazy now, but If you'd read his breakdown for the second season, where Matt and Danny decide to run in the presidential primary against Obama and Hillary, you'd understand. It's going to work this time, I can really feel it."
From the very moment that NBC controversially decided to greenlight two different series (one hourlong, one a half-hour) set behind the scenes at an SNLesque sketch comedy show and named for the numbered structures (one fictional, one real) in which they were produced, the fates of Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and 30 Rock (one disappointing, one vastly superior) were inextricably linked. With Studio 60 indefinitely yanked from the airwaves and creator Aaron Sorkin failing thus far to live up his billing as Peacock Messiah (or even to a lesser, personal mission as Redeemer of a Debauched Medium), the network is now placing its sketch-comedy-related hopes for eventual Nielsen salvation in 30 Rock's Tina Fey, reports Var:
These have been sad days indeed for the dedicated fans of Studio 60, multiple Emmy-winner Aaron Sorkin's unflinching look into the dark soul of late night sketch comedy programming: As the still-healing scars on the underside of our forearm representing each squandered Monday night that's passed without a new installment of the series so vividly remind us, Studio was indefinitely removed from NBC's primetime schedule, a torturously undefined hiatus that has spawned irresponsible, internets-type rumors that the network has held the pillow of cancellation tightly on the face of its slumbering beloved, ending their doomed, if fitfully passionate, partnership without producing the rest of its planned first-season episodes. Not so! (the exact words follow) says THR's Ray Richmond, who's been assured that Sorkin and company are hard at work even as we speak:
Despite the fact that Studio 60 will eventually return from its indefinite, Haggis-enabling hiatus to triumphantly claim the Nielsen validation it so richly deserves, pragmatic showrunner Aaron Sorkin is nonetheless preparing for a post-60 existence. A recent career brainstorming session that may or may not have involved an unexpected psilocybin flashback induced by listening to his favorite Flaming Lips album seems to have yielded inspiration for a new creative direction in his life, as EW.com reports that Sorkin will be writing the script for a Broadway musical based on the Lips' Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots. Even frontman Wayne Coyne, a guy known to cavort with pastel, flashlight-wielding teddy bears, seems a little freaked out by this development:
The Great White Way will never be the same: In an exclusive interview, Wayne Coyne, lead singer of the Flaming Lips, told EW.com that the psych-rock band will team up with acclaimed TV writer and show creator Aaron Sorkin to turn the group's 2002 album Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots into a Broadway musical.