The upcoming, big-screen adaptation of Dave Eggers’ cyber-thriller The Circle has found a new female lead in Harry Potter franchise actress Emma Watson, who will join Oscar-winner Tom Hanks in the cast of the highly anticipated film.
Published in 2013, The Circle follows a young woman (played by Watson) who is hired at the fast-rising tech company The Circle, and soon finds herself torn between her career ambitions and the company’s growing power over a world where privacy is becoming obsolete. The novel explores the rapidly blurring line between personal and public identities, and the amount of control we hand over to the caretakers of Internet technology on a daily basis.
Hanks was signed to the project previously, though his role in the film is unidentified at this point.
The film is set to be directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now) from his own screenplay adaptation. Filming is expected to begin this September.
“Emma Watson is one of my favorite actors,” said Ponsoldt in a statement accompanying the casting announcement. “Her incredible talent, sensitivity, and deep intelligence will bring an electric energy to The Circle.”
While Watson certainly brings some additional star power to the project, she wasn’t the first actress attached to the lead role. Ex Machina actress Alicia Vikander was originally contracted to star opposite Hanks in the film, but The Circle was one of several projects (including the upcoming Assassin’s Creed movie based on the video game) that she was forced to exit when she agreed to star in the next installment of the Jason Bourne franchise.
The Circle is the tenth fiction novel penned by award-winning author Eggers, whose work in non-fiction and fiction has been repeatedly optioned by movie studios. Eggers also co-wrote the screenplay for the 2009 film Away We Go, as well as that year’s live-action adaptation of the children’s book Where the Wild Things Are.
There’s currently no release date set for The Circle.