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Woodland Hills connects with Facebook movie

November 9, 2009 |  6:19 pm

Woodland Woodland Hills is about to network with Hollywood's version of Facebook.

"The Social Network," a Sony Pictures film about the people who created the social networking giant, has pulled a permit to begin shooting in Woodland Hills later this week (see accompanying chart). Launched in 2004, Facebook has emerged as the world's leading social networking site, with more than 300 million users.

The movie, directed by David Fincher and written by Aaron Sorkin, tells the story of the people who built Facebook into a global empire. It stars Jesse Eisenberg as Mark Zuckerberg, the Harvard student who founded the social networking site; and Justin Timberlake, who plays Facebook President Sean Parker, co-founder of Napster. Andrew Garfield assumes the role of Eduardo Saverin, Zuckerberg's former partner.

Scheduled for release next year, the movie has been approved for nearly $5 million in state tax credits under California's new film incentive program. Since its launch this summer, the state program has allocated $100 million in tax credits to nearly 50 TV and film projects, including two other movies from Sony: "The Priest" and "Burlesque," both from the Screen Gems label. Those movies have been approved for more than $15 million in tax credits, according to the California Film Commission.

Sony executives declined to comment on "The Social Network."

Facebook also was mum on the project. A  spokeswoman for the Palo Alto company said: "We don't have any comment about this film."

-- Richard Verrier