Justin.tv Sells Movie Rights, Will Get “The Social Network” Treatment

Justin.tv Sells Movie Rights, Will Get “The Social Network” Treatment

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Coming soon to a theater near you… The Video Streaming Network, the story of how Justin.tv went from one man broadcasting his entire life through live video to a full-fledged streaming video business. Actually, the title and tagline are made up by me, but the movie deal is completely real. Justin.TV has sold the movie rights to their story to a company called RicheProductions.

The Social Network was a huge success as a film. It told the story of how Facebook was founded, though many involved with the company have disputed some elements and claims in the movie. It won all kinds of awards, and nabbed scores of nominations and critical raves. And it also made pretty good money at the box office.

So you can imagine why there might be Hollywood production companies out there itching to find the next Social Network. And since one movie based on a website worked so well, why not give that another try?

Enter RicheProductions. Here’s what they had to say about the deal:

“We are thrilled to be in business with Justin.tv and the entrepreneurial spirit the founders and the company represent. We look forward to exploring the many creative possibilities in film, television and across all media outlets.”

What are they going to do with the movie rights? Documentary? Reality series? Mini-series? No one’s saying just yet. But allow me to suggest that maybe they’ll simply make a feature film about how Justin.tv got started.

I mean, before everyone starts groaning at this news, consider your initial reaction two years ago when you read that Hollywood was going to make a movie about Facebook… because if you say you didn’t groan then, you’re a liar. We all did. It was a ridiculous idea, right up until The Social Network came out and we all realized it was pretty awesome.

But that movie succeeded because of an award-winning writer and director team (Aaron Sorkin and David Fincher) and a fantastic cast. If RicheProductions can find their own revered director… if they can find a writer who can get to the real, human story behind the scenes… then anything is possible.

Or maybe some obscure production company just wants to crank out a cruddy, straight-to-video clone of The Social Network. Given Hollywood’s track record, that’s entirely possible as well. Time will tell.

Unlike Facebook, the creators of Justin.tv remain with the company to this day, and are still friends. So it would probably look like a completely different film than The Social Network, at least in tone. But this move is just another sign of how much interest there is in new media properties, and the stories of their origins. We take services like YouTube or Justin.tv or Facebook for granted, often forgetting that there’s typically a very compelling human drama behind the scenes that led to the site we know and love today.

What do you think? Is there possibly a great story to tell about the founding of Justin.tv? Or are you already yawning?

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October 2018

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