Tetris isn’t the new The Social Network, director says

Cameron Frew
Taron Egerton in TetrisApple TV+

Tetris has been likened to The Social Network by fans, critics, and even Taron Egerton – but it’s not a good point of comparison, at least from the director’s point of view.

In 2011, David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin teamed up for The Social Network, exploring the murky, Machiavellian roots behind the birth of Facebook. Part-biopic, part-polemic, you’d struggle to emerge from the movie with anything nice to say about Mark Zuckerberg.

Crucially, it harked back to the days of courtroom movie dominance; is there any greater drama than a heated deposition full of backstabbing, regret, and condescension?

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Long before the trailer was ever released, the mere idea of Tetris – a movie revolving around the rights to the game – attracted comparisons to the Best Picture nominee, but the director believes they’re misplaced.

Don’t expect The Social Network from Tetris

Tetris follows Henk Rogers (Taron Egerton), a steadfast, no-such-thing-as-no video game salesman and designer who finds himself enchanted by the titular game. Foreseeing a huge money-making opportunity, he teams with Nintendo ahead of the GameBoy’s launch and is tasked with securing the handheld rights.

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There’s just one problem: the rights are tied up between three parties: Robert Stein (Toby Jones) of Andromeda Software; Robert Maxwell (Roger Allum) of Mirrorsoft; and the Soviet Union, and the KGB don’t take too kindly to foreigners meddling with Russian property. What ensues is a lengthy, back-forth-and-sideways negotiation between capitalist “swindlers” and communists; one man’s word means nothing when it comes to money.

In an interview with Dexerto ahead of the movie’s release on Apple TV+, we asked director Jon S. Baird about any influences on Tetris, and particularly if The Social Network was ever considered.

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“I don’t think The Social Network was really one for us. I don’t know where that came from, but it was always Argo, Bridge of Spies, and The Big Short to a point as well. Particularly Argo… that was the one I always sort of had in in mind.

“I don’t know if it’s come up like any of those films… it feels like its own kind of thing now. But those were the ones we kind of looked at before.”

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People saying The Social Network and Tetris in the same breath likely stems from comments made by Egerton to GQ in 2020. “It’s definitely more Social Network than Lego Movie. It’s about the rights to the game. It’s an insane true story,” he said.

This isn’t to say there aren’t any similarities, but it’s an overly simplistic way of reading the movie.

Tetris hits Apple TV+ on March 31. Check out our review here.

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About The Author

Cameron is Deputy TV and Movies Editor at Dexerto. He's an action movie aficionado, '80s obsessive, Oscars enthusiast, and a staunch Scot. He earned a First-Class Honours Degree in Multimedia Journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University, accredited by the NCTJ and BJTC. He began his career at UNILAD, starting as a Junior Journalist and becoming Entertainment Editor prior to joining Dexerto. You can contact him at cameron.frew@dexerto.com.