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Trivia / The Social Network

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  • Awesome, Dear Boy:
    • Joseph Mazzello admitted that part of the reason he took the role of Dustin Moskovitz was because he was exhausted from filming The Pacific and thought playing a college student would be fun.
    • Armie Hammer stated that the instant he heard that a new David Fincher film was in production, he went to his agent and said that he had to be in it in some way, shape or form, even if it meant making coffee on set. While his agent initially wrote him off as overambitious, he later found out that the film needed a guy who was 6'5; Hammer just so happened to be 6'5, and the rest is history.
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  • Black Sheep Hit: Fincher sees the movie as this and is amazed that this became his most commercially and critically successful film, when it's so different from his other films, and what he's interested in:
    Fincher: It’s a little glib to be a film. Let’s hope we strove to get at something interesting, but Social Network is not earth-shattering. Zodiac was about murders that changed America. After the Zodiac killings in California, the Summer of Love was over...No one died during the creation of Facebook. By my estimation, the person who made out the worst in the creation of Facebook still made more than 30 million dollars...And besides, on Social Network, I didn’t really agree with the critics’ praise. It interested me that Social Network was about friendships that dissolved through this thing that promised friendships, but I didn’t think we were ripping the lid off anything. The movie is true to a time and a kind of person, but I was never trying to turn a mirror on a generation.
  • California Doubling:
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    • The filmmakers couldn't shoot at Harvard and had to shoot at Johns Hopkins University in Maryland. Some scenes were filmed at UCLA Film Schools in California. There are a few shots in the film that were sneak shoots of the greater campus area. A few places in the film were also sets.
    • The story moves to the San Francisco Bay Area (where Facebook relocated to) for the last act, but the scenes there were actually shot in Los Angeles.
  • Cast the Runner-Up: Andrew Garfield auditioned for Mark Zuckerberg but he was deemed too emotional for the role — so he got cast as Eduardo Saverin instead.
  • Dawson Casting:
    • Jesse Eisenberg and Andrew Garfield were both 26 at the time of filming, playing 19-year-old Zuckerberg and 21-year-old Saverin respectively; though they also play the characters a couple years down the line (2007?) in the Framing Device.
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    • Peter Thiel, around 37 at the time he made the angel investment in Facebook, is played by Wallace Langham, who was 44 or 45 at the time of shooting.
  • Doing It for the Art: All of the extra money and work that went into making the Winklevoss twins identical to each other. Using CGI to painstakingly replace one actor's face with another's in every one of his scenes would be expected in, say, a big-budget science-fiction movie. But in a biopic about the founding of Facebook? It's unlikely that anyone would have complained (or noticed) if the actors playing the Winklevosses hadn't been completely identical, or if Fincher had just cast actual twins that weren't the spitting images of the real guys, but Fincher went the extra mile to add another layer of realism to the movie that nobody really expected.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Justin Timberlake lost 20 pounds in order to look younger, Max Minghella tanned his skin to play an Indian-American, and Josh Pence and Armie Hammer (the Winkelvi) were sent off to a sort of boot camp in order to train as rowers and learn each other's physical mannerisms.
  • Fake Nationality:
    • American-born and UK citizen Andrew Garfield playing Brazilian-born Eduardo Saverin.
    • Indian American Divya Narendra was played by English actor Max Minghella, who is of Italian, Scottish, and Chinese descent, not without minor controversy. The DVD Commentary with the cast stated that Minghella was artificially tanned for the role, which lead to a hilarous moment when Armie Hammer and Josh Pence met the real Divya Narendra. They decided to introduce him to Max Minghella and convinced him (as a joke) to speak in a thick Sim Sim Salabim accent. Upon hearing him, Minghella turned white and spent the next 30 minutes apologizing profusely for his performance.
    • Italian American Joseph Mazzello plays the Jewish American Dustin Moskovitz.
  • Follow the Leader: Back in 2010, the film's trailer creatively used an a cappella cover of Radiohead's "Creep" (sung by Belgian girls' choir Scala and Kolacny Brothers) to haunting effect; many viewers praised it as one of the most memorable movie trailers in years, and several critics credited it with managing to get audiences interested in a movie about the founding of Facebook—which could easily have been an Audience-Alienating Premise otherwise. In later years, several other films and TV shows have tried to borrow that technique for trailers, resulting in multiple other trailers also using haunting, minimalistic covers of pop songs, often sung by female vocalists. Examples include the trailers for X-Men: Apocalypse (which uses a cover of Coldplay's "Don't Panic"), Season 1 of Gotham (which uses a cover of Tears for Fears' "Shout"), Power Rangers (2017) (which uses a cover of Johnny Cash's "Walk the Line"), and Ghost in the Shell (which uses a cover of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence").
  • Playing Against Type:
  • Playing Their Own Twin: Armie Hammer plays both of the Winklevoss twins — well, sort of. He played all of Cameron, and Josh Pence played the body of Tyler, with Hammer's head digitally added in post-production.
  • Star-Making Role: For Rooney Mara, Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer. It was also the movie that established Justin Timberlake as a professional actor rather than a singer who can act. All of them were little known when this film was made but they became known names after, and the film is now considered to have an All-Star Cast.
  • Throw It In!:
  • What Could Have Been:
    • The note Mark gets passed in class the morning after the Facemash incident, which reads "U dick," was supposed to be something more vulgar (presumably "cocksucker"), but would have cost the movie its PG-13 rating.
    • Had the school been more cooperative, the movie would have been shot on location at Harvard.
    • The opening credits were originally going to be scored to Pulp's "Common People" until David Fincher realized the irony of using a song nostalgic to him in a movie meant to capture the zeitgeist of 21st century youth.
    • Jonathan Groff auditioned for the role of Sean Parker.
    • After failing to find suitable twin actors, David Fincher was originally going to have Josh Pence use his own face and voice for Tyler Winklevoss and have the twins be fraternal. However, Fincher decided the twins had to be identical to reflect real life so they went with the doubling Armie Hammer's face on Pence's body.
  • Writing by the Seat of Your Pants: Aaron Sorkin wrote the script as Ben Mezrich was writing the book it was based upon The Accidental Billionaires because David Fincher optioned the project based simply on a book proposal. Mezrich would write a chapter and hand it off to Sorkin, who would then write the screenplay based on it.

Specific

  • All three leads: Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, have had Emma Stone as their onscreen love interest, in Zombieland, The Amazing Spiderman and Friends with Benefits, respectively.
  • Rashida Jones, who plays one of the lawyers, actually went to Harvard.
  • Malese Jow's character Alice is based on Mark Zuckerberg's girlfriend and later wife Priscilla Chan.
  • Mark Zuckerberg offered a mixed reaction to the finished film. Upon first being told of its production, he expressed dismay at the idea of a film about him being made while he was still alive. Initially vowing to never see it, he eventually rented out an entire theater to watch it with his employees. While he verified the accuracy of his on-screen wardrobe, and reportedly later complimented Eisenberg on his performance, he took far less kindly to the film's artistic liberties — probably because they hit a little too close to the mark.
  • What with the 2010s developments in the story of Zuckerberg and Facebook, a sequel to the film has been more than purely speculative for some time now. In July 2019, Eisenberg confirmed interest in being involved only if Sorkin writes, and in October 2020 Sorkin confirmed interest in writing only if Fincher directs.

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