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Fincher’s The Social Network to Open New York Film Festival

Fincher's The Social Network to Open New York Film Festival

Thompson on Hollywood

The 48th annual New York Film Festival will kick off September 24 with the world premiere of David Fincher’s The Social Network, written by Aaron Sorkin and starring Jesse Eisenberg as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the youngest billionaire in history. This is bad news for those of us who were hoping to catch the film at the Venice, Telluride or Toronto Festivals, because opening nights are usually exclusives.

It’s a good sign that the movie might actually be good, because the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s selection committee is notoriously picky and is perfectly willing to slot a movie like Alain Resnais’ Wild Grass in the opening night slot.

The film, produced by Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De Luca, and Ceán Chaffin, is based on the book The Accidental Billionaires by Ben Mezrich, and also stars the new Spider-Man, Andrew Garfield. Sony will released the film on October 1, 2010. The New York Film Festival runs September 24th – October 10th, 2010. has posted an exclusive trailer.

According to NYFF director Richard Pena, the film:

“powerfully captures the spirit of its time…David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin are a director/writer team, like Lumet and Chayefsky before them, that make this movie not only of the moment, but reflective of larger cultural issues as well, and confirm their position at forefront of contemporary cinema.”

Adds Mara Manus, executive director, The Film Society of Lincoln Center, who has been pushing for more mainstream offerings at the Fest:

“David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin have focused their lenses on a story of friendship, loyalty, and betrayal, with a multifaceted character at the center who is as complex as he is clever. This is just the kind of film that our audience wants to see and we’re thrilled to be hosting the world premiere.”


This year’s selection committee includes: critic Melissa Anderson, the Film Society’s associate program director, critic Scott Foundas, Moving Image Source editor and critic Dennis Lim and indieWIRE’s own Todd McCarthy, who leaked me nothing!

Here’s the second trailer:

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tom brueggemann

Looks like it will in this case be the world premiere – that’s what Variety is reporting (and likely was in the press release to start with).

It could mean that Venice turned it down (possible but unlikely), or that they are racing to finish and prefer the later date for the premiere, or just figured it was a better marketing deal to let NY be the world premiere.

tom brueggemann

You’re right that the NYFF prefers, and usually does, have as its opening night film something that is at least a North American premiere (a film that has played Cannes or Venice is not automatically excluded). But even then, there are exceptions – Wild Grass also played at Toronto last year, and of course premiered at Cannes.

They do like to have world premieres for this slot, but they also want a crowd-pleasing film if possible, and a distributor who will help foot the bill for the party.

I would be surprised if this is at Toronto, but also surprised if it doesn’t show at Venice before that (although I don’t assume it will either).

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