For me, one of the most interesting aspects of “The Social Network” is the involvement of Aaron Sorkin. I love Sorkin’s work. I think he’s beyond talented, leaps and bounds ahead of any other big writer in Hollywood in terms of lyricism, rhythm and sheer quality of prose. So when I heard he was writing “the Facebook movie,” I was intrigued.
Sorkin’s career has been a little rocky since the beginning of the 21st century, when he was the genius behind “The West Wing” and the gone-too-soon “Sports Night.” In recent years, he wrote a Mike Nichols movie (“Charlie Wilson’s War”) that was decent, but not great, and he created and wrote a new TV series, “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip,” which started out swimmingly but soon devolved into pure, utter garbage. (And I stuck with it the entire way, for the same reason I own the two books that collected some of Sorkin’s favorite teleplays from the first four seasons of the “West Wing.” I’m a fan.)
It appears, from all early reports and scene snippets, that he’s back on his A-game with “The Social Network.” It makes sense; when writing about genius upstarts crashing against a traditionalist system, he’s at his best (“A Few Good Men,” “The West Wing”). (Whereas with “Charlie Wilson’s War,” he was delving into foreign policy, never his strongest angle on “The West Wing,” especially in his final seasons, and when it comes to “Studio 60,” the less said the better.)
He spoke with W Magazine (and M.I.A.’s favorite writer Lynn Hirschberg) and the entire thing is tremendous.
“When I first got sober, my biggest fear was, Am I going to be able to write without cocaine? In the past my dealer would come over, and I’d do drugs all night long and I’d write high. I was worried that I couldn’t write with the sun out.” After rehab, to test himself, he took a two-week job polishing dialogue for a Michael Bay movie called The Rock. “I was just writing quips for Sean Connery and Nic Cage, but the first time I wrote in the daytime, I was so proud. Now my firewall is Roxy. I’d let her down if I relapsed.”
There’s much more, and it is all worth reading.