Emma Watson is going to have a busy 2017. She’s not only headlining a much-anticipated feminist live-action Beauty and the Beast, she’s also tackling the film adaptation of Dave Eggers’ spine-chilling speculative fiction novel The Circle.
The film tells the story of Mae Holland, a wide-eyed young woman who takes on a job in customer service for a massive technology behemoth, run by an elusive billionaire (Tom Hanks).
The company is called The Circle, and as she soon discovers, their intentions are far from honourable. (Choice line from the trailer? “Knowing is good. But knowing everything is better.”)
As you can see, this film really hits close to home. In Eggers’ The Circle, the eponymous tech company was designed to mimic a terrifying Hydra-style hybrid of Google, Apple and Facebook. (And, in fact, The Circle - published in 2013 - predicted so much of what we now accept as technological reality, from smartphones and watches to rolling real-time feeds and the way that everyone in the world can be a publisher).
The Circle is not only a tech company manufacturing phones, computers, accessories and mini cameras, they are also a wide-reaching social network and internet search facility, not to mention, ultimately, a media company.
The key storyline follows Mae as she becomes the Truman Show-esque test subject of a 24/7 reality TV show, that sees hidden cameras following her every move and monitoring everything from her health, diet, exercise and heartrate to her love life. Scary stuff.
If that’s not enough to get you into the cinema, let’s just briefly mention the supporting cast: Tom Hanks will play The Circle’s charismatic co-founder and John Boyega, the breakout star of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will take on the role of Kalden, Hanks’ enigmatic co-founder who becomes inextricably bound up in Mae’s life after a chance meeting one night.
What happens next? You’ll have to wait till May 25 to find out. We're already excited. (And here's 10 other movies we're eagerly awaiting in 2017).