In the movie business, there is no commodity more valuable than "buzz." And few projects are more buzzed about right now than The Social Network, Sony's biopic about the founders of Facebook, which hits cinemas in early October.
The film – based on Ben Mezrich's brilliant book, The Accidental Billionaire – has always boasted headline- grabbing subject matter and a superstar director, in David Fincher. But in recent months, it has also come to be regarded as a showcase for the future of Hollywood's acting talent.
When the film was first cast, 18 months ago, its young lead actors were mostly anonymous (with the exception of Justin Timberlake, who plays Facebook president Sean Parker). Now they have blossomed into a veritable "brat pack" of up-and-coming future stars. In their ranks is Rooney Mara, the unknown girl who recently landed the pivotal role of Lisbeth Salander in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, and Andrew Garfield, the inconspicuous British actor who was surprise choice to take over from Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man. Then we have Joseph Mazzello, who recently starred in Steven Spielberg's Second World War TV epic The Pacific, and Jesse Eisenberg, who will shortly feature in the comedy 30 Minutes or Less.
For The Social Network, the success of these young actors is extremely convenient. Perhaps a little too convenient: it turns out that Dragon Tattoo, 30 Minutes or Less and Spider-Man are all also Sony properties. You don't have to be a terrible cynic to wonder if this is all just a little too cosy.
'The Social Network' is released on 15 October