Doomsday Machine Series Casts Claire Foy As Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg

Facebook is a "Doomsday Machine." That's the angle in an upcoming TV series that has just cast Claire Foy as Facebook's chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg. You've seen her don a crown and get caught up in a spider's web; now she's been crowned COO and is coming to the world wide web.

According to Variety, "Doomsday Machine" will "lift the veil on the relationship between Mark Zuckerberg and Sandberg and the obstacles Facebook has faced on its relentless quest for growth." It's an adaptation of the New York Times bestselling book, "An Ugly Truth: Inside Facebook's Battle for Domination," by Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang.

The series will cover the period of time from the 2016 election, when disinformation was allowed to thrive unimpeded on the platform, to some more recent news that has come light about the company's "XCheck" program, which "whitelisted" high-profile figures like the 45th U.S. president, allowing them to break the rules that governed the conduct of other users. If you ever wondered why some celebrities were able to get away with posting things that would normally result in an account lock or ban for other people on Facebook, it sounds like "Doomsday Machine" will delve into some of that.

Variety reports that the series "will also cover how the company was aware of the mental health risks posed by Instagram to younger users, and the push by Zuckerberg to use the News Feed as his own propaganda machine to push out articles with positive slants about Facebook." In 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion.

A Spiritual Sequel to The Social Network?

"Doomsday Machine" is also reportedly bringing on journalists as consultants "to ensure the plot's accuracy," which sounds like a nice break from the fake news that has proliferated on Facebook in real life.

David Fincher's "The Social Network" wasn't necessarily accurate in all respects, but it remains one of the best films of the 2010s. In the lead-up to the film's tenth anniversary, our own Chris Evangelista called it "the definitive story of the social media generation." Back in 2019, it ranked #1 on /Film's best of the decade list.

As we noted, it's looking more and more like a supervillain origin story these days. Just this week, Zuckerberg and Facebook were in the news again as a whistleblower testified in Congress about the company's effect on kids and the fabric of democracy as a whole.

Fincher followed up "The Social Network" with "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," and he never got to make a sequel to that film because the studio decided to reboot the franchise with none other than Foy in the role of Lisbeth Salander, the girl herself. Now, Foy is on board to star in what could be a spiritual sequel of sorts to "The Social Network."

Pulitzer Prize-winner Ayad Akhtar is developing "Doomsday Machine," but there's no word yet about when or where it will release.