It was about a month ago that reports came out that said Ex Machina star Alicia Vikander had signed on to star with Tom Hanks in the upcoming thriller The Circle. As it turns out, she's been pulled away from the movie thanks to the allure of Paul Greengrass' Bourne 5 starring Matt Damon - but the good news is that the project has found an excellent replacement in Emma Watson.

Playtone and Likely Story announced today via press release that Emma Watson has officially signed on to star in The Circle, which is an adaption of the book of the same name by Dave Eggers and is set to be directed by James Ponsoldt (Smashed, The Spectacular Now). In the story, Watson will be playing a young woman who signs on for a position at the film's titular company - described as an internet monopoly. What makes The Circle special is that it's a system that links absolutely everything in your life together - including personal emails, social media, shopping, and more -into one system. This results in what is described as creating "one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency." It's at this new job where she meets Hanks' character, who is simply described by The Wrap as being a "mysterious older man."

In case you didn't figure it out yet, this movie will feature some very heavy messages about the modern world and the internet age. It will tackle the subject of privacy - which is an issue that seems to change with every passing day - as well as the collection and sifting of data used for surveillance. The best sci-fi out there is stuff with messages and drama that link back and serve as metaphors for our own world, and it sounds like The Circle will be chock full of that.

Since the end of the Harry Potter franchise, Emma Watson has had the chance to work with a great number of talented people, and adding both Tom Hanks and James Ponsoldt to that growing list is surely a big win for her. We haven't seen her on the big screen since early last year when Darren Aronofsky's Noah arrived in theaters, but she has some big stuff coming up. In August she will be paired with Ethan Hawke in the new thriller Regression, and in the last few months she completed work on the German drama Colonia with Daniel Bruhl and Michael Nyqvist. She is currently filming Disney's live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast with director Bill Condon, which will feature her in the lead role as Belle.

The Circle will be going into production this September in California, though it doesn't look like the film has a release date just yet.
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