A TV series about the origin of Twitter could be in the works.
Nick Bilton, a blogger for The New York Times Bits Blog, recently published a non-fiction account of how four friends dreamed up Twitter, and that book is called Hatching Twitter. Penguin/Portfolio published it in early November, and it has since topped best-seller lists and scored favourable reviews. Following the book's success, Lionsgate Television Group has optioned the rights.
"Im thrilled to announce that Hatching Twitter has been optioned by Lionsgate and we will be starting development of a TV series," said Bilton in a blog post on Wednesday. A press release from Lionsgate confirmed he would also write the screenplay and serve as a producer.
Alli Shearmur, who worked as an executive producer on The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, will serve in the same role on Hatching Twitter. She compared Bilton's book and impending series to The Social Network, a film about the founding of Facebook, noting that Hatching Twitter would be uniquely different.
"The Social Network was a perfect film, and this series will be different, 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," said Shearmur in a press release.
Terms of the sale were not disclosed, but optioning a book's screenplay is very popular in Hollywood (at least for speculative projects) because it is usually cheaper than buying it. However, by optioning to Lionsgate, Bilton likely entered an exclusive agreement with the company that could expire should he or Shearmur be unable to put together the series.
That means Hatching Twitter isn't guaranteed to become a TV series. But the book is popular among the tech geeks, so it looks like we'll at least get a pilot episode. As for the type of quality you can expect to see, Lionsgate is responsible for well-received dramas such as Mad Men and Nurse Jackie.