December 18, 2013 9:45am PT by Lesley Goldberg
Lionsgate TV Developing Twitter Origin Story
Lionsgate Television is preparing to tell Twitter's origin story.
The studio is teaming with The Hunger Games' Allison Shearmur to develop Nick Bilton's New York Times best-seller Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal.
Bilton, a columnist and reporter for The New York Times, will pen the script and serve as a producer on the project that tells the behind-the-scenes account of how the social media site was created by four friends and evolved into the valuable asset it is today.
Bilton's work sheds light on the relationships, battles, power grabs and betrayals along the way in what Lionsgate described as one of the most talked-about books of the year. Hatching Twitter has been named one of the best books of the year by The Economist, Gizmodo, Mashable and was an Amazon Best Book of the Month in November.
"Twitter has transformed almost every aspect of our lives from politics to business to friendship, and I can't think of a more compelling story to adapt for television right now," Lionsgate TV Group chairman Kevin Beggs said. "Nick's book has all the elements of a great drama with its complex characters, high-stakes power struggles and betrayed friendships, and we're extremely fortunate to have Alli Shearmur on board as executive producer."
Added Shearmur, former president of motion picture production at Lionsgate: "Hatching Twitter will go behind the scenes of a groundbreaking Silicon Valley company in a way that's never been captured before on television. 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."
Added Bilton: "I am thrilled to work with Allison Shearmur and Lionsgate to adapt my book about the power, betrayal and billions of dollars that swirl through Silicon Valley. The story of Hatching Twitter really speaks to a generation that has searched for friendship through technology and it will be very exciting to see it brought to life on screen."
For Lionsgate, Hatching Twitter comes as the studio continues to find success on the small screen. In addition to Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, the company produces AMC's Mad Men, ABC's Nashville, Showtime's Nurse Jackie and History's Houdini miniseries.
Bilton is repped by CAA and Katinka Matson at Brockman.
For Sheamur, the project marks her latest TV foray, joining FX's American Psycho follow-up and a drama in the works at ABC.