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Opening Night – Aaron Sorkin Says His Social Network Script Is Thoroughly Researched

At last weekend’s promotional junket for The Social Network, at New York City’s exclusive Harvard Club, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin (Charlie Wilson’s War) defended the controversial script he wrote for the David Fincher-directed film, including during a very heated discussion with a writer from the Daily Beast that took place within earshot of the AMC News team. At one point during the junket, we watched as Network‘s producer, Scott Rudin, stopped Sorkin’s round-robin television interviews to give him a “pep talk.”

At issue for some of the journalists interviewing Sorkin was the delineation between fact and fiction in his razor-sharp 162-page screenplay, one that weaves together three different accounts of the story behind the creation of social-networking giant Facebook.

In July, Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg — who’s portrayed in the film by actor Jesse Eisenberg — told NPR in an onstage interview that the “movie is fiction.” Sorkin disagrees, but he empathizes with the 26-year-old billionaire’s response, telling correspondent Jacob Soboroff, “If I were Mark [Zuckerberg] and Facebook, I’d want only my point of view presented.”

But there are three conflicting versions of the creation (and ownership) of the Web site presented in the film, not just Zuckerberg’s. Sorkin said he thoroughly researched all of them and vetted the film “within an inch of its life” with a Sony Pictures legal team to ensure that Facebook will not “own Sony” once the film is made public.

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