Wild party scene won't be cut from Facebook movieTue Aug 24, 2010 @ 03:00AM PST
By Matthew Belloni and Allison Hope Weiner
Days after producer Scott Rudin said that a scene of debauched partying might be cut from "The Social Network" amid concerns from the real-life people depicted, THR has learned that the full scene will remain in the film after all.
The upcoming Sony Pictures release about the origins of Facebook has drawn fire from the company, which has labeled it fiction. The Aaron Sorkin script is based on court documents and journalist Ben Mezrich's "The Accidental Billionaires," a partially fictionalized account of the company's early days.
In an article published Friday, Rudin told the New York Times that he has been involved in a months-long dialog with Facebook execs to assuage concerns about the film. He said he allowed certain execs to read the script and made changes to accommodate small requests. He also said he had not decided whether to cut or alter a scene depicting Sean Parker, a Napster co-founder who played a major role in the early days of Facebook, delivering a key speech at a party while two young women offer lines of cocaine from naked breasts. One person told the Times that the Parker scene was mostly made up, though Rudin said his main concern about the scene was whether it would jeopardize a PG-13 rating.
Now sources tell THR the scene will remain in the film, set for release October 1.
Matthew Hiltzik, a rep for Parker, declined to comment on the decision. Parker, played in the film by Justin Timberlake, was a confidant of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg but left the company after a cocaine-related arrest in 2005, according to Facebook biographer David Kirkpatrick.
We hear Facebook lawyers also have voiced concerns about the "Social Network" marketing campaign, which uses a logo that is very similar to Facebook branding.
But a Facebook rep downplayed the film in general and the Parker scene in particular.
“Maybe the movie is a sign that Facebook has become meaningful to people, even if the movie is fiction," spokesman Larry Yu tells us. “What the movie may or may not contain is not what we’re focused on. What matters more is building a useful, innovative service that people enjoy using to connect and share.”