Years ago, Aaron Sorkin teased that he had some ideas in his head for how to do a sequel to The Social Network, the 2010 movie he wrote about the rise of vengeful creep Mark Zuckerberg and his insidious “The Facebook” website, but HBO seems like it’s about to beat him to it. As scooped by Puck’s Matthew Belloni (and then written up by The Hollywood Reporter), HBO has landed Doomsday Machine, a drama series about the more recent shenanigans that Zuckerberg and his pals have gotten into lately.
The project is based on the book An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook’s Battle For Domination by New York Times writers Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang, plus New Yorker reporting from Andrew Marantz. More specifically, the series will be a “riveting human drama chronicling the political and social minefields Facebook has navigated on its relentless quest for growth.”
That description sounds a little neutral, like this won’t be taking the harsh stance on Facebook that it very, very, very much deserves, but the series is called The Doomsday Machine. That’s not a super flattering name for anything that isn’t made by Lex Luthor or Elon Musk, and Zuckerberg is a different kind of evil. (Though Jesse Eisenberg did play both Zuckerberg and Luthor, which was such a clever casting move that there’s no way in hell it came from Zack Snyder.)
Anyway, The series will star Claire Foy as Sheryl Sandberg, the author of that Lean In book and the current COO of Facebook—sorry, “Meta Platforms,” with our eyeroll over the new name hopefully coming across. Zuckerberg himself hasn’t been cast yet, but following up Jesse Eisenberg’s frustratingly likable performance as the decidedly unlikable jerk will be a tall order. Maybe just bring Eisenberg back? Or use a CG Zuckerberg “metaverse” avatar in place of a real actor?