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Lionsgate set to bring Twitter story on TV

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MUMBAI: Lionsgate, a leading global entertainment company, has optioned the rights to Nick Bilton’s New York Times best seller Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal, with Allison Shearmur set as executive producer.  Bilton, a columnist and reporter for the New York Times, will write the screenplay and serve as the producer. The announcement was made on 18 December by Lionsgate Television Group chairman Kevin Beggs. 



Hatching Twitter presents a fascinating behind-the-scenes account of the creation of the social media service by four friends and its evolution into worldwide phenomena that has changed the accession of digital communication. Bilton sheds light on the relationships, battles, power grabs and betrayals along the way in one of the most talked-about books of the year.



Published by Penguin/Portfolio on 5 November, 2013, Hatching Twitter is a New York Times Best Seller that debuted at number 14 on the E-Book Nonfiction list and number five on the Wall Street Journal’s Hardcover Business list.  The readers of the Wall Street Journal named it the Best Book of 2013.  It has also made it to the “best of year” lists in a number of other outlets, including The Economist, Gizmodo, Bookish and 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,” said Beggs in a release. “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 onboard as executive producer,” he added. 



“Hatching Twitter will go behind the scenes of a groundbreaking Silicon Valley company in a way that’s never been captured before on television,” said Shearmur. “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,” he added.



“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,” said Bilton.  “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,” he said. He further added on his website that, “I’m thrilled to announce that Hatching Twitter has been optioned by Lionsgate and we will be starting development of a TV series.”



Lionsgate has enjoyed great success with book adaptations, including its blockbuster movie franchises Hunger Games and Twilight, which have collectively grossed more than $4 billion at the box office worldwide. Hunger Games’ Indian release of its latest installment, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire has garnered a three-day collection in India of approximately – Rs 21 crore.

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