The Social Network: 10 facts to celebrate its 10th anniversary

Remarkably, it's been one whole decade since David Fincher's icily engrossing The Social Network showed us the darker side of Facebook.

Fincher's typically slick direction, familiar from the likes of Se7en, meshes perfectly with The West Wing writer Aaron Sorkin's acrobatically acerbic dialogue. The film is based on non-fiction book 'The Accidental Billionaires', written by Ben Mezrich, and dramatises the fraught origins of the social network site that would transform the world.

Jesse Eisenberg is a calculating but all-too-human presence as eventual Facebook founder Marc Zuckerburg, and Andrew Garfield is the sympathetic counterweight as Zuckerburg's business partner Eduardo Saverin. The excellent supporting cast includes Justin Timberlake and Rooney Mara, the latter as Erica Albright, whose dumping of Marc sets in motion Facebook's creation.

Hypnotically shot by Jeff Cronenweth and scored in buzzing, pulsating style by Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails) and Atticus Ross, the film has lost little of its power in the intervening years. If anything, it has only gained in stature as the paranoia surrounding social media and online security has increased.

To celebrate the film's 10-year anniversary, here are 10 facts you may not have known about it.


1. Actors Jesse Eisenberg and Rooney Mara had so much dialogue to deliver during the opening scene that, at the risk of the sequence being slow and the script being cut down, they were told to deliver it far more rapidly, to bring it in exactly at seven minutes 22 seconds long.

2. The visual effect on the Winkelvoss twins was achieved via a combination of actors Josh Pence and Armie Hammer, with the latter's face eventually grafted onto Pence's via CGI.

3. Jonah Hill was considered for the role of Napster founder Sean Parker, eventually taken by Justin Timberlake.

4. Aaron Sorkin said he had no interest in Facebook but was instead intrigued by the story's archetypal themes of greed and power.

5. Sorkin claimed he didn't read Ben Mezrich's source material 'The Accidental Billionaires' until he was "80% done" with the screenplay.

6. Composer Trent Reznor originally turned down the chance to score the film, as he was coming off an exhaustive tour; however, David Fincher talked him into it.

7. The litigation-based stucture of the film rose out of Facebook's specific demands: chiefly, the movie couldn't take place at Harvard, and it couldn't be called 'Facebook'.

8. This meant Sorkin had to go it alone without Facebook's help, assimilating conflicting testimonies from various lawsuits into the finished script.

9. As it turns out, Harvard refused to let the production shoot on campus anyway, citing damage left behind by filming on 1970's Love Story.

10. The film won Sorkin his first Oscar, netting him Best Adapted Screenplay.