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Did You Mean: Yawn? Hollywood To Bring Us the Craaaaazy Story of Google

August 20, 2010

As Mark Zuckerberg and his Facebook empire gets the David Fincher-Aaron Sorkin treatment in the upcoming drama The Social Network, Deadline Hollywood announced yesterday that producer Michael London (House of Sand and Fog, The Informant!) has acquired the film rights to Ken Auletta’s book Googled: The End of the World as We Know It. Of course it seems like a fine idea. After all, people are excited about The Social Network, and Hollywood loves to piggyback on and greenlight projects which they already know will be of interest. They laid low long enough to see the Social Network buzz, realized it’ll make a buck or two, and then went for Auletta’s book.

The problem is that by and large, it’s tough to make “true-life computer and internet stories” really exciting. Even 1999’s Pirates of Silicon Valley — the story of young Bill Gates versus young Steve Jobs — couldn’t find a theater distributor and had to air on fledgling TNT. And even then it was dullsville. Just this past weekend, in fact, Luke Wilson’s The Middle Men hit theaters, about the advent of the internet porn industry and the accountant who spearheaded the effort to charge credit cards for viewing it. It debuted at #35, and made only $96,000 on the weekend. And it was about porn.

The Social Network, under the guide of Fincher and Sorkin, could do very well — it not only is a giant phenomenon right this second in every home in the world, but it has a shady story behind it in the allegations that Zuckerberg stole the idea from some jocks and went crazy with power. That, gussied up by arguably one of the best directors and one of the best screenwriters in the industry today, could fly.

But Google? It’s not exactly a gripping thriller. The duo of Sergey Brin and Larry Page is notoriously well-respected and run an organization which, by all accounts, seems like a fantastic place to work. Sure, they expanded an idea into an empire, and that’s always fodder for a story, but the details don’t seem exactly steamy. Everything they’ve done has worked fairly well and they continue to introduce new facets of google that everyone likes and which make everyone’s lives easier. What a nailbiter!

I guess you can hone in on a few things from the book, like Google’s ongoing feud with Facebook, but that’s not even front page news. Yes, Google has been a huge success. Yes, those guys have really hit on something. Will it make for a good movie? Zzzzzzz. It’s 2010; no one likes to watch nice people in movies or on television anymore. Here’s hoping one of them kills a hooker before the script gets written. Then the project may have some legs. As it is, it’s a tale of how something worked and everyone was happy. And who cares about that these days?

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