Aaron Sorkin talks with his hands.

Aaron Sorkin Has Grand Plans for ‘The Social Network 2’, but I Wish He’d Dial It Back

Sometimes, Aaron Sorkin likes to do the most because he thinks he should. Sorkin is undoubtedly an incredible writer, but he has a penchant for moralizing directly to the audience to the point of preachiness. This is why I’m concerned about the initial reports of a sequel to The Social Network that includes the January 6th insurrection.

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According to Discussing Film, Hollywood insider Matt Belloni shared news of a movie about the insurrection from The West Wing creator, “Described as a quasi-sequel to ‘The Social Network’ that follows the rise of misinformation-for-profit online that may have led to January 6.”

If Sorkin wanted to write a sequel to The Social Network, he’s got plenty of drama to mine from Mark Zuckerberg’s volatile reign. There’s plenty to write about, such as Facebook’s role in sowing division, and helping police prosecute people seeking abortions. Or what about the company’s rampant data mining and Zuckerberg’s attempts to rebrand as Meta? Was all that stuff not good enough for The Social Network 2?

It’s not that I think Sorkin is the wrong choice for a January 6th film. But Sorkin’s whole vibe makes me think this movie will be a big “told you so”, and frankly it feels too new. For all we know, January 6th could pale in comparison to whatever Trump and his henchmen are planning for 2025. I just don’t think we need an Aaron Sorkin insurrection film at this particular moment. Maybe one day, but I don’t even think it is apt framing for a Social Network sequel.

Since then, Sorkin has said during a live recording of “The Town” podcast, that he is essentially doing a follow-up to The Social Network. Praise be. “Look, yeah, I’ll be writing about this,” Sorkin said. “I blame Facebook for January 6.” When pressed about why he thought this, Sorkin said “You’re going to need to buy a movie ticket.”

“I’m trying [to write a movie about it],” Sorkin said. “Facebook has been, among other things, tuning its algorithm to promote the most divisive material possible. Because that is what will increase engagement. That is what will get you to — what they call inside the hallways of Facebook — ‘the infinite scroll’ … There’s supposed to be a constant tension at Facebook between growth and integrity. There isn’t. It’s just growth.”

I like Sorkin and I think he is an intelligent writer. The American President was a staple in my household growing up. But then you see things like his take on To Kill a Mockingbird and wonder if he is capable of not tooting his own horn in the process.

It could work but what if we didn’t tell January 6th stories?

Movies like The Trial of the Chicago 7 and even shows like The Newsroom are fine examples of how Sorkin tackles real-world events in his own way. I think that Sorkin tackling how Meta/Facebook fueled our current political climate would make a great film. I just don’t think we need to see it tie into January 6th. We know what happened and unless someone really puts a leash on the “see? I was right” isms that Sorkin can display in his writing, I think it’d be better if he just stuck to a follow-up to his deep dive into the creation of Facebook itself.

I think Sorkin could do it but I don’t think he should when there is a lot at stake with a story like this and it could do more harm than good.

(featured image: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.