LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - The cocaine and bare breasts are staying in the picture.
Days after producer Scott Rudin said that a scene of wild partying might be cut from “The Social Network” amid concerns expressed by the real-life people depicted, The Hollywood Reporter has learned that the full scene will remain in the film after all.
The upcoming Sony Pictures release about the origins of Facebook has drawn fire from the company, which has labeled it fiction. The Aaron Sorkin script is based on court documents and journalist Ben Mezrich’s “The Accidental Billionaires,” a partially fictionalized account of the company’s early days.
In an article published Friday, Rudin told the New York Times that he has been involved in a months-long dialog with Facebook execs to assuage concerns about the film. He said he allowed certain executives to read the script and made changes to accommodate small requests.
He also said he had not decided whether to cut or alter a scene depicting Sean Parker, a Napster co-founder who played a major role in the early days of Facebook, delivering a key speech at a party while two young women offer lines of cocaine from naked breasts. One person told the Times that the Parker scene was mostly made up, though Rudin said his main concern about the scene was whether it would jeopardize a PG-13 rating.
Now sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that the scene will remain in the film, set for release October 1.
A spokesman for Parker declined to comment on the decision. Parker, played in the film by Justin Timberlake, was a confidant of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg but left the company after a cocaine-related arrest in 2005, according to Facebook biographer David Kirkpatrick.
Sources said Facebook lawyers also have voiced concerns about the “Social Network” marketing campaign, which uses a logo that is very similar to Facebook branding. But a Facebook representative downplayed the film in general and the Parker scene in particular.
“Maybe the movie is a sign that Facebook has become meaningful to people, even if the movie is fiction,” spokesman Larry Yu said. “What the movie may or may not contain is not what we’re focused on. What matters more is building a useful, innovative service that people enjoy using to connect and share.”