It's a huge project, and there are some great names involved: David "Benjamin Button" Fincher is directing, and Aaron "The West Wing" Sorkin wrote the screenplay. Kevin Spacey is listed as the executive producer on the project. All this begs the question: who among them approved the cast list, which was announced today. It features Justin Timberlake as Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster who introduced Zuckerberg's to the Silicon Valley's major players, and eventually, became the first president of Facebook. This isn't just a vanity cameo, either: if the screenplay follows the book it's based on closely, which it likely will, Parker (and, ugh, Timberlake) will have some major screen time throughout most of the movie.
Here, it's worth nothing that Jesse Einsenberg (who was great in The Squid and the Whale) and Andrew Garfield will probably rock when the two guys respectively play Mark Zuckerberg and his former partner, Eduardo Saverin. That, in itself, raises the question of the Timberlake stunt casting: it's not like kids won't be clamoring to see a movie about Facebook's founding, with or without the boybander. Sure, Timberlake may rise to the challenge and prove that he has some acting chops. But if you watch the Youtube clip below, you'll see why I'm a little bit nervous. I guess there's one thing left to say: Good luck, Mr. Fincher.
P.S. Justin, we still love you on SNL.