‘The Social Network’ for Snapchat? Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi Orders Series Based on Snap Chief Evan Spiegel

Katzenberg wants new show to be as “compelling and interesting about Snapchat” as “The Social Network” was for Facebook

Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel (Getty)

Jeffrey Katzenberg’s new digital startup Quibi is creating a series based on the rise of Snapchat. And yes, even Katzenberg sees the similarities to “The Social Network,” the 2010 movie about the birth and growth of Facebook.

“We want to tell a story that is as compelling and interesting about the creation of Snapchat and [founder Evan Spiegel’s] story as ‘[The] Social Network’ was for Facebook,” Katzenberg said Friday at Austin’s South by Southwest (SXSW), according to TechCrunch.

The series will be based on screenwriter Elissa Karasik’s “Frat Boy Genius,” one of the most anticipated projects in Hollywood after it landed at the top of the 2018 Black List. Karasik’s script paints an unflattering portrayal of Spiegel, Snap’s 28-year-old chief executive, told through the eyes of narrator “Lily,” a former classmate of Spiegel’s at Stanford that accuses him of ripping off one of her ideas to help build Snapchat.

Karasik, it’s worth pointing out, also attended Stanford.

Despite saying he wants the series to resemble how “The Social Network” skeptically portrayed Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg’s early days in Silicon Valley, Katzenberg says Spiegel should be “flattered” that a series is being made about him.

Snap did not immediately respond to our request for comment on the new series.

Founded by Katzenberg and headed by former Hewlett-Packard CEO Meg Whitman, Quibi closed a $1 billion round of funding in August 2018 from big-name investors such as 21st Century Fox, Disney, NBCUniversal, Viacom and WarnerMedia. Katzenberg said he expects Quibi to launch in Spring 2020, although he did not provide a release date for the series based on “Frat Boy Genius.”