‘The Circle’ Invites Emma Watson to Join Tom Hanks
Previously set to star Alicia Vikander alongside Tom Hanks, The Circle has been in the market for a new leading lady since Vikander’s scheduling conflicts forced her to bow out. But good news for director James Ponsoldt’s latest: Emma Watson has signed on to replace Vikander in the upcoming dramatic thriller, which she will film right after she’s done with Beauty and the Beast.
Per Variety, Watson will co-star with Hanks in The Circle, the new film from The Spectacular Now director James Ponsoldt. The Circle is based on the Dave Eggers novel of the same name, and while you may not be familiar with his novel, you’re likely familiar with some of his other work — Eggers, the founder of McSweeney’s, has co-written scripts for films like Away We Go and Where the Wild Things Are. This is his first original work to be adapted into a film.
Watson will play the role of protagonist Mae Holland, a young woman who accepts a job with a major tech firm known as the Circle — a company which has established an internet monopoly in a not-too-distant future, offering a way for users to consolidate all of their accounts (email, social media, bank accounts, et al.) into one big OS, giving customers a singular online identity. The story examines the problems with consumerism in the digital age, and the way our personal information is used and monetized.
It makes sense that Vikander might not want to follow Ex Machina with another tech thriller, but Watson is an excellent replacement, and it’ll be great to see how she plays off of Hanks. Hanks is producing The Circle, which will be written and directed by Ponsoldt, who also helmed the acclaimed upcoming film The End of the Tour.