Watson will play Mae Holland, the naive staffer whose devotion to The Circle -- a massive tech company that's like Facebook, Apple and Google combined -- leads her to climb its ranks. She replaces Alicia Vikander ("Ex Machina"), who had been previously announced.
Tom Hanks will also appear in the film, most likely as one of two elder figures who lead the company -- an avuncular Steve Wozniak type and a shark-like businessman -- with a third partner, a young, hoodie-wearing genius.
Other main figures in the satirical novel are Holland's on-again, off-again, off-the-grid boyfriend, her sweet but outmoded parents, and two new love interests that she meets through The Circle.
Watson, best known for starring in the Harry Potter films, will play a character who is a true believer. As I wrote in my review of the novel, "Holland is an everywoman, a twentysomething believer in Internet culture untroubled by the massive centralization and monetization of information, ubiquitous video surveillance and corporate invasions of privacy."
Director James Ponsoldt ("The Spectacular Now") has penned the adaptation. The film is scheduled to begin shooting in September.
Book news and more; I'm @dpaperhaus on Twitter