The Circle will remain unbroken, after all – in the wake of Ex Machina breakout Alicia Vikander dropping out of James Ponsoldt’s anticipated adaptation of the Dave Eggers novel, Harry Potter alum Emma Watson has become attached to the lead role, allowing the project to proceed as scheduled.
Watson will play a young woman who is recruited by a major Internet monopoly known as The Circle, which revolutionizes online connection by linking its users’ personal emails, social media, banking, online purchasing and more with the help of a universal operating system. This omniscient technology results in a single online identity for each person, as well as a new era of civility and transparency, with all fathomable information readily available online.
Tom Hanks is already attached in the role of an older colleague with whom Watson’s character has a disturbing and enlightening encounter which sheds new light on the true nature of The Circle.
Before Watson stars in the pic, which The Spectacular Now director Ponsoldt is helming as his follow-up to his brilliant David Foster Wallace drama The End of the Tour, she’ll portray Belle on Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) is directing that touted remake of the iconic musical, which also stars Luke Evans as Gaston and Dan Stevens as the Beast.
The young actress has inarguably done the best out of the main Harry Potter trio, delivering stellar turns in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bling Ring, This is the End and Noah, a wild assortment of projects that has effectively distanced her from the part of Hermione Granger. Given the high-profile nature of The Circle, this could be Watson’s first post-Potter role for which the studio can make a legitimate awards push.