Ex Machina finally landed the ferociously talented Alicia Vikander a well-deserved spot on the New A-List, but the actress isn’t resting on her laurels. With six films opening in the next nine months, we’re going to be seeing a lot of Vikander on the big screen, and she just secured another buzzy role – in James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of The Circle.
Based on the novel by Dave Eggers, the story focuses on a college grad (Vikander) who gets a job at a powerful tech company simply known as The Circle. Tom Hanks is circling (sorry, couldn’t resist) the role of a mysterious colleague, who opens her eyes to a more sinister side to the company.
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Hanks became attached last year, but the project is heating up with Vikander and Ponsoldt’s involvement. The director, who broke out with The Spectacular Now, is also coming off a hot pic in festival darling The End of the Tour, which centers on the unusual relationship between writer David Foster Wallace (Jason Segel) and Rolling Stone writer Dave Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) as the latter works on an article about the Infinite Jest author during a lengthy book tour. Expect to hear more about that one heading into the fall and closer to awards season – Segel is revelatory in his role.
As for Vikander, playing AI creation Ava in Ex Machina has brought every project in Hollywood to her doorstep. She has Justin Chadwick’s period romance Tulip Fever, Derek Cianfrance’s adaptation of The Light Between Oceans, Guy Ritchie’s spy blockbuster The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Bradley Cooper passion project Adam Jones and Tom Hooper’s Eddie Redmayne starrer The Danish Girl all hitting screens sometime this year. That such a red-hot actress has signed on for The Circle bodes very well for the already-promising project.
No official release date has been set for The Circle, but as production gets underway, here’s the Amazon book synopsis to tide you over:
When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s most powerful internet company, she feels she’s been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company’s modernity and activity.
There are parties that last through the night, there are famous musicians playing on the lawn, there are athletic activities and clubs and brunches, and even an aquarium of rare fish retrieved from the Marianas Trench by the CEO. Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world—even as life beyond the campus grows distant, even as a strange encounter with a colleague leaves her shaken, even as her role at the Circle becomes increasingly public. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge.