Can Social Media Movies Become Box Office Gold?

Only if you've been secluded on a deserted island for the last ten years, would you be clueless as to how social media has affected our daily lives. As part of our global zeitgeist whether or not you own a computer or a smartphone - the online tech sector is so hot, a series of movies are in the works that are banking on geek appeal to attract mainstream audiences.

TwittamentaryTwittamentaryFrom 'Twittamentary', a documentary about Twitter, currently in production in Singapore, to the soon-to-be-released Facebook movie, 'The Social Network,' The Social Network MovieThe Social Network Moviegeekdom appears to offer up a lot of sexy material.

But does the origins of the largest search engine in the world have the same appeal as Facebook's now almost-urban-legend beginnings in a Harvard dorm room? Can enough intrigue be built around the Google edict of "don't be evil" to make it into a successful full-length movie feature? Michael London's Groundswell Productions and producer John Morris seem to think so.

'Googled, The End of the World as We Know it,' a 400-page treatise penned by New York Columnist Ken Auletta in 2009 has been sold for a potential film adaptation. In this YouTube video, Auletta talks about the company's rise, and how it changed traditional media, from newspapers to advertising, starting with the ground-breaking Adwords and Adsense business models.

In an exclusive Deadline New York report, titled "Google Founders Sergey Brin And Larry Page Get Feature Film Treatment," London says, "at a certain point in the evolution of a company so big and powerful, there are a million challenges to that mandate. Can you stay true to principles (when) you become as rich and powerful as that company has become?"

Mark ZuckerbergMark ZuckerbergDiffering from 'The Social Network' where according to early reports, Mark Zuckerberg will not be treated in a favorable light, the attention of London's project is "to be sympathetic to Sergey and Larry, and hopefully the film will be as interesting as the company they created."

Ironically while the dynamic duo of Sergey Brin and Larry Page also germinated their idea when they were ivy league scholars at Stanford, their principles of Sergey Brin and Larry PageSergey Brin and Larry Page"you can make money without being evil" and "you can be serious without a suit" have come under harsh criticism over the years. London said the movie will focus on how they tried to hand onto their idealism as Google became a global phenomenon. According to Mike Fleming at Deadline New York, "the challenge for London and Morris is to find a handle on a success story that makes for a compelling screen drama."

Google's partnership with Verizon and their current position on "Net Neutrality" triggered the Huffington Post to claim that "Google has gone Evil!"  It's possible this storyline might dissuade the producers from taking the high road with Google.

Perhaps those producers may want to wait to see how "The Social Network" and "Twittamentary" fare in global markets before finishing their treatment on "Googled" - picking  up on the nuances of "geeky" material that may or may not resonate with a mainstream audience. While social media occupies a good amount of our time these days, I don't know if watching it on the big screen will have the same appeal.

Perhaps Mark Zuckerberg's appearance on the small screen in The Simpsons' this fall will be a good test.

Mark Zuckerberg's appearance on The Simpsons ( as seen in this upcoming graphic novel)Mark Zuckerberg's appearance on The Simpsons ( as seen in this upcoming graphic novel)

For other stories on this topic, check out some of my previous posts.


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Ron Callari
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Aug 20, 2010
by Anonymous

the TRUE STORY of the """Google""" Lunar X Prize

could, this movie, talk about the TRUE STORY of the """Google""" Lunar X Prize??????