New York Times’ columnist Nick Bilton’s book Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, on the dramatic origins of Twitter, has been optioned by Lionsgate for production as a TV show. Bilton will write the screenplay and get producer credits.
Back in October we heard there was interest in the book from the Hollywood sector, but it looks like it’s going the serialized route instead of to the big screen. Given the ins and outs of the creation of Twitter, this is probably a better option as there’s plenty of material here.
Lionsgate is the distribution behind Hunger Games and Twilight (which came by way of its acquisition of Summit Entertainment). Allison Shearmur will executive produce.
“‘The Social Network’ was a perfect film, and this series will be different,” says Shearmur, “providing a longer view of the work life changes, gamesmanship and personal sacrifices made by a group of individuals who are building a company that will change the way that people communicate.”
“Nick’s book has all the elements of a great drama with its complex characters, high-stakes power struggles and betrayed friendships,” says Kevin Beggs, Chairman of the Lionsgate Television Group.
We’ve covered some of the Bilton book’s revelations before here at TC, including the three reasons Twitter didn’t sell to Facebook, and Jack Dorsey’s role as a silent chairman. If you’re interested in more on the source material for the series, hit up our review of the book here.
After we’d had a good read of the book we asked around among those mentioned in its pages — just to see how on point it was. Though there were some details here and there that were a bit murky and some folks had issues with their characterizations, the general consensus was that it was fairly accurate. Some folks told us that it was ‘highly’ dramatized in some instances, but sometimes the drama is in the eye of the beholder, not the participant.
And it probably makes for better TV that way.