Johns Hopkins University will fill in as Harvard University in the new Facebook movie titled The Social Network which has already started production. The film will tell the tale of how a Harvard student came up with a way for other students to interact with one another … a social network, if you will … and will star Jesse Eisenberg (the poor man’s Michael Cera) as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. It turns out that folks at Johns Hopkins aren’t too happy that their school is being portrayed as Harvard but hey, that’s showbiz. Here are a few pics from the set this week:
The Johns Hopkins University passed itself off as Harvard in a movie Monday without feeling the least bit flattered. “It feels degrading somehow,” said Diego Ardila, 19, as he watched workers remove the words “Latrobe Hall” from a stately brick building and replace them with “Kirkland House.” Hopkins’ Homewood campus is standing in for Harvard in “The Social Network,” a movie about the creation of Facebook by Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg. The movie, like some Hopkins students, couldn’t get into Harvard, which has a longstanding policy against commercial filming on campus. So the production has opened some old college-admissions wounds. “The general consensus is, a lot of kids are not pleased,” said Lorre Atlan, 20, a junior majoring in biomedical engineering. “It’s obvious they [the filmmakers] could get Hopkins and not get Harvard.” That’s left Hopkins, one of the nation’s most selective colleges, feeling like a safety school. “It’s kind of like a blow to our pride,” said Ray Tsai, a 19-year-old sophomore studying biomedical engineering, an academic subject in which, he and others noted, Hopkins is rated more highly than Harvard. The sea of Hopkins hoodies and T-shirts on the campus’ quads Monday only looked like genuine school spirit. It was attempted sabotage. An anti-Harvard Facebook page urged students to “poke” into the movie by walking by the set in Hopkins wear. “Hopefully one slips in,” said Jack Chan, 19, a sophomore who pulled on a black Hopkins sweat shirt as he watched filming begin outside Shaffer Hall Monday afternoon. Not everyone thinks playing Harvard, which was tied for first with Princeton in U.S. News & World Report’s most recent college rankings, is beneath Hopkins, which came in a none-too-shabby 14th. “I think the people who have a problem with it are the same people who have latent self-loathing from the college admissions process,” said Sam Biddle, 22, a senior philosophy major. Jan Lee, 21, a junior in biomedical engineering, conceded, “A lot of people came here because they didn’t get into Harvard, Yale or Stanford.” Hopkins spokesman Dennis O’Shea put it in terms that might appeal to the competitive student body: “I prefer to think that we play Harvard better than Harvard can play Harvard.”
Yeah, I dunno know I feel about this idea of a Facebook movie. I understand they are trying to do something with Twitter as well … and I can only dread what they would turn out if they did a project on My Space. While I’m sure it’s somewhat interesting to see how the whole Facebook phenomenon got started, I can’t say that I’m all that impressed with the notion of a movie. It seems like just a way to capitalize on these new online ventures in order to make a quick buck. The fact that it is being directed by David Fincher (Se7en, Fight Club) does speak to its merit but … I dunno. Are any of y’all interested in watching a movie about Facebook? I’m not sure that I am … I can barely be bothered to poke my friends on the social networking site itself. By the way … are we Facebook friends yet?