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If I Had Written “The Social Network”

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I am very disappointed in Hollywood. With The Social Network they missed a chance to take 21st century mythology in a completely different direction. Apparently nerdy coders aren’t interesting on screen so you have embellish them with Hamletesque character flaws. Still, if you are going to spit in Ken Burns eye with a docudrama – don’t be a wimp. Go all the way.

Since when has Hollywood ever let reality stop them from telling a good story. The movie should have gone something like this. 

Stirring the Plot

The date is December 21st, 2012. The story opens with the announcement that Mark Zuckerberg is the new President and CEO of Microsoft replacing Steve Ballmer who was revealed to be a closet meth head and a frequent flier to Indonesia with Rush Limbaugh. The protagonist is Michael (Mike) Arrington who broke the Ballmer story after an anonymous tip he received while sitting on a park bench in front of the Washington Monument. (tip of the hat to Ollie). Arrington’s character is like a grunge Jimmy Stewart. An idealistic journalist fired from the Wall Street journal for his outlandish conspiracy theories. Should call Leo DiCaprio to read for this.

Mike begins to suspect his struggling underground tech blog is being used for nefarious purposes and starts digging into young Zuckerberg’s mysterious rise to techno-dominance.

Insert black SUV’s, car chases and the irrelevant love interest between the haggard everyman-journalist-in-over-his-head and the 20 yr old blond hacker. She has a juvi record and   transforms into a supermodel when she takes off her librarian eyewear. Throw in cameos of Mark Hurd with Larry Ellison at a strip joint.

The intrepid blogger discovers that the conspiracy has been manipulating events to pave Zuckerberg’s way without his knowledge. Together Mike and Mark find the reclusive mastermind outside Redmond, WA. At the center of it all is none other than Bill Gates who reveals that Mark is in fact his love child.

If Dan Brown does the screenplay then Gates is the head of a secret society descended from the Medici’s and he is passing on the family legacy as the head of the group that controls the world’s economy. If John Gresham does it then the real villan is Gates’ attorney trying to keep the truth of his improprieties secret.

Shoot alternate endings and see which one tests better.

Alternate Endings

  • Zuckerberg kills Gates but accepts his role and vows to change things for the better.
  • Zuckerberg accepts his role, and movie closes with Arrington screaming through the bars of an insane asylum on a remote island. Leo would really bring this home
  • Gates is found at a lair inside a volcano outside Redmond. Gates has been consumed by his technology and is now more machine than man. Most memorable line Gates: “Together we can defeat Steve Jobs and rule the galaxy as father and son.” I can’t decide who ends up in the lava.

Other Interpretations

If Eastwood directs Zuckerberg is estranged from his real father (Bill Gates’s again) and feeling abandoned seeks to pave his own path by besting his father’s accomplishments.

If the movie ends up on the Hallmark channel Zuckerberg would be played by an up and coming country singer trying to break into acting. He falls in love with a single mother jr.programmer at FB struggling to keep things together after the death of her husband in a tragic traffic accident. Caused by texting while driving. Need to work in a bar fight with Larry Ellison.

Now THIS is a movie I wouldn’t wait on Netflix for.  The only thing that would make it better is pirate robots attacking the planet but I think that might be a stretch.

Updated: I originally titled this post “If Jerry Bruckheimer Did The Social Network.” I love his work – brilliant escapism. I realized though that this post was really about a fantasy screen writing career and celebrity geek name dropping so naturally I decided to take the credit.

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2 Responses »

  1. Classic neorealism…There is more than one movie here!

  2. You are a funny man Dallas! You need to do stand up!

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