The Social Network screenplay: Adaptation as (re-)interpretation and (re-)creation | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1759-7137
  • E-ISSN: 1759-7145



Aaron Sorkin’s screenplay for The Social Network perfectly illustrates Linda Hutcheon’s definition of adaptation as a two-step process beginning in (re-)interpretation and concluding in (re-)creation. Ben Mezrich’s The Accidental Billionaires, slightly rearranged, comprises the spine of Sorkin’s script. Sorkin’s deletions, additions and rearrangements significantly re-create the novel. By reframing the events detailing the creation of Facebook as depositions given over a single day, Sorkin condenses the novel’s two years’ events into an easily understood narrative spanning a single day. Sorkin’s addition of transitional scenes further clarifies the relationship of events for viewers as does his subtle but pervasive use of repetition. All of these changes re-create Mezrich’s loosely told, omniscient narration as a dramatic narrative sufficiently different enough for Sorkin to claim it as his own original work.


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