The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for The Social Network can be found here.
Yes, it's very loosely based on The Accidental Billionaires: The Founding of Facebook A Tale of Sex, Money, Genius and Betrayal (2009) by Ben Mezrich.
This seems to be a matter of some debate. Mark Zuckerberg claims that the movie is almost entirely fictional except in the broadest sense that he, Dustin Moskovitz, and Eduardo Saverin created Facebook while students at Harvard. In particular he disputes implications that his desire for revenge on an ex girlfriend or to get into a Final Club influenced the creation of Facebook. And of course he denies that the Winklevoss twins or Divya Narendra had any hand in inspiring the creation of Facebook. Instead he insists that the real creation story is much more boring and banal - one where the idea for the site was devised over a long period of rumination rather than as part of one creative brainstorm. Screenwriter Aaron Sorkin and director David Fincher insist that the film is very accurate. Sorkin has even said that it is not fictional at all, merely dramatized. Much of the film is based on testimony given at a number of depositions related to the lawsuits brought by Eduardo Saverin, the Winklevoss twins, and Divya Narendra. To this extent, the film might be considered very accurate. However, as the character Mark points out in the film, people do lie in depositions.The general outlines of the story are part of the public record. Mark Zuckerberg hacked into various student facebooks while a student at Harvard and created the Facemash web site while drunk (most of the dialogue in the hacking scene is taken directly from Zuckerberg's blog postings from that night). He narrowly escaped expulsion for his prank (the link to the original article published in the school paper can be seen here). Sometime later he, Eduardo Saverin, and Dustin Moskovitz created Facebook. Moskovitz and Zuckerberg moved the company to Palo Alto while Saverin stayed in New York. First Sean Parker and then Peter Thiel were brought in as partners and Eduardo Saverin either left or was forced out as CFO. During this time Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss and Divya Narendra sued Zuckerberg and Facebook for stealing their idea. One notable change made for the film is that the film totally ignores Zuckerberg's wife Priscilla Chan. The film makes Zuckerberg out to be a lonely socially maladroit nerd who has casual sex with groupies but no meaningful relationships and, even at the height of his power, is still pining away for his college girlfriend. In reality, Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan began dating in their sophomore year at Harvard, around the same time Mark was creating Facebook, and have been together ever since, marrying in 2012. Both Eduardo Saverin and the Winklevoss twins claim the film is very accurate while Zuckerberg and Parker maintain that it is a work of fiction.
In one scene a character remarks that Mark was the biggest guy on campus and lists several different types of impressive people who were also at Harvard at the time in order to emphasize how impressive Mark's fame was. Included in this list is an unnamed "movie star." The movie star may be Natalie Portman. She graduated from Harvard in 2003, the same year that Mark Zuckerberg created Facemash and a year before he launched TheFacebook. She also apparently offered the filmmakers some advice on Harvard student culture at the time.
When portraying identical twins on film different techniques are used such as creative camera angles and blocking and using special effects to artificially duplicate an actor. Both are used here. Armie Hammer is the primary actor portraying both Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss which is why he is generally credited as such. However, another actor, Josh Pence, who has a similar build to Armie, was used as a body double in scenes where both twins appeared. When the faces of both of the twins needed to be shown in the same shot, such as during the rowing scenes, or when they first approach Mark Zuckerberg, the filmmakers digitally replaced Josh Pence's face with Armie Hammer's.
When Mark is talking about their latest expansion plans for Facebook, Eduardo specifically mentions Stanford as critical to their expansion. Stanford is located in the California town of the same name, right next to the cities of Palo Alto (where Facebook would eventually move) and San Jose. This area is known as "Silicon Valley" because of the large number of computer and technology companies located there. By expanding to Stanford University, Eduardo was looking to attract the attention of a Silicon Valley venture capitalist who would invest in their company.
It's an orchestral musical composition, "In the Hall of the Mountain King" by Edvard Grieg, performed by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who composed the film's score. It is from the incidental music that Grieg composed in 1876 for the original stage production of Henrik Ibsen's poetic fantasy "Peer Gynt". It has been used in several other films, most notably Fritz Lang's "M" (1931), and the 1957 made-for-TV film "The Pied Piper of Hamelin". It was also heard in the flop musical film "Song of Norway" (1970). In the UK it is probably best known for being the music from the Alton Towers TV advert. The songs used in the movie can be found here with scene descriptions.
It is "Magnetic" on The Social Network soundtrack.
The package contains Facebook business cards that read "I'm CEO, bitch." It is a reference to Sean's joke about Mark putting that on a business card to show that he is the boss.
As shown in the film what happens is that Mark dilutes Eduardo's stock in Facebook. Zuckerberg, Parker, Saverin, and Moskovitz all had significant segments of Facebook stock along with investor Peter Thiel. Increasingly disatisfied with Eduardo, Mark decides to push him out of the company. To do so he does a major stock issue, increasing the total number of shares of Facebook stock available. While he, Moskovitz, and Thiel all get more shares of stock, Eduardo retains the same number of shares he originally had. Since there are more overall shares this means that Eduardo controls far less of the company than he did originally. Eduardo's share of the company went from 33%, second only to Mark's 51%, down to an insignificant 0.03%, effectively removing him as a power within the company. This enraged Eduardo and he sued Mark, settling for an undisclosed amount of money out of court and having his name restored as co-founder of the site.
After his cocaine stunt (and his attempted manipulation of Mark into believing he was innocent and Eduardo was the culprit), Sean was fired from facebook alhough, as Mark says, he still owns seven percent of the company. In reality, Parker claims that Eduardo's sacking was not his fault or doing and the two reportedly have remained friends even to this day. Parker is still very much involved in facebook even participating in conferences and meeting with Mark Zuckerberg regularly although he no longer holds any real power in the companies' decision making. He has invested in several other online ventures since being let go from facebook and currently holds an annual net worth of $2.1 billion.
This is never explicitly stated. But in a way, the point of the film is not to explain these things directly. This is shown in the final scene where Marilyn, the junior lawyer on Mark's team explains to him how easy it would be for her to win the cases against him, she mentions how she doesn't have to prove anything, just ask the right questions that people will form the answers to in their own minds regardless of what he says. This is very much the trick the film uses too when it's making more serious implications about the actions of the characters. Did Mark steal Facebook? Did Mark try to cheat Eduardo out of Facebook? Did Mark leak the story about the chicken, did he call the cops on Sean's party? Is he an asshole? The film never outright says any of it, just gets you wondering...
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