Trailer Anticipation: Jesse Eisenberg Geeks Out In 'The Social Network' The trailer for The Social Network suggests a promising project that seems limited only by the fact that it's still a movie about Facebook.
NPR logo Trailer Anticipation: Jesse Eisenberg Geeks Out In 'The Social Network'

Trailer Anticipation: Jesse Eisenberg Geeks Out In 'The Social Network'

It should be said right off: this is a great trailer.

It's for The Social Network, which doesn't open until October 1 but is already getting a massive push, because hopes are very high. Directed by David Fincher from a screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (from the novel by Ben Mezrich, from the lives of actual humans), it's about the founding of Facebook and stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg -- the guy who still talks to the press when Facebook infuriates its own users or otherwise performs one of its many highly publicized face-plants.

As a piece of trailer-making, it's wonderful. The choral cover of Radiohead's "Creep," the opening shots hammering home how ubiquitous Facebook is, the way Zuckerberg's quest for power is instantly tied to his quest for acceptance (making him more than a brat who got lotto-winner lucky), the way Justin Timberlake is established as a slickster villain despite saying almost nothing. (I'm kind of surprised that this widely-seen trailer left in Timberlake's emphatic double-bird-flipping, but I'm glad it did, because it works.)

There's no reason to believe the movie won't be good. Jesse Eisenberg has a boatload of talent (the commercial failure of Adventureland was heartbreaking, because it's wonderful), and Fincher is an inventive director whose experiments are almost always interesting (Fight Club) even if they're not ultimately as successful as you wish they were (The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button). Sorkin can be infuriatingly uneven (Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip), but the guy can write rhythmic, quotable dialogue (Sports Night) like nobody else. (That line "If you guys were the inventors of Facebook, you'd have invented Facebook" is a line that, if it happened in real life, is still something Sorkin would absolutely write.)

The movie looks good. You know, as two-and-a-half-minute previews go. My only concern is that ... the stakes are still Facebook, not control of some monumental artistic achievement. And control of Facebook certainly amounts to a massive amount of money, but aside from a massive amount of money, I think the challenge will be involving the audience in a story about privileged college kids yelling at each other over money and ... Facebook. It's like an entire movie about the invention of the iPod -- you know how it ends. The iPod was invented; lots of people have one. But do they care how it got into their hands?

Don't get me wrong -- based on this trailer, I'm eager to see the movie, and my guess is that it will be good. But then I find myself stepping back from it and wondering how many people want to watch an entire movie about Facebook, and I'm just ... not sure. What do you think about the trailer? Yes? No? "Like"?