The origin stories of social networks seem like they’d be kind of boring, but apparently the key to success is getting into vicious spats with your co-creators. Facebook’s acrimonious beginning was immortalized on film in 2010’s The Social Network, and now the feud-fueled start of Twitter is getting the Hollywood treatment. Lionsgate is adapting New York Times technology journalist Nick Bilton’s book, “Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship and Betrayal,” for a television treatment.
“Hatching Twitter” is a fascinating read, highlighting the squabbles between founders Evan ‘Ev’ Williams, Biz Stone, Jack Dorsey, and Noah Glass, and how the company reigns were eventually handed over to Dick Costolo, a former improv comedian who now acts as the CEO.
Bilton definitely doesn’t sugarcoat the company’s turbulent roots (in one chapter, he recounts how Dorsey wound up in the hospital after drinking too much at the company’s botched launch) – but the book also doesn’t paint any of the founders as out-and-out villains in the same way The Social Network cast Zuckerberg, so it will be interesting to see how the personalities of the founders are ramped up in their small-screen incarnations.
Bilton will write the screenplay and serve as the producer, so the script will likely hew closely to the book. Here’s hoping some of the celebrities depicted showing up unannounced at the Twitter offices will make cameos in the movie.