Emma Watson logs on to ‘The Circle’ as Alicia Vikander gets ‘Bourne’

Emma Watson has joined Tom Hanks in the James Ponsoldt-directed "The Circle."

Emma Watson has joined Tom Hanks in the James Ponsoldt-directed “The Circle.”

(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

Another round of Hollywood musical chairs has played out with Emma Watson joining Tom Hanks in the cyber-thriller “The Circle,” filling the void left when Alicia Vikander recently departed the project. Vikander, meanwhile, has signed to costar with Matt Damon in the next installment of the “Bourne” spy franchise.

Production companies Playtone and Likely Story announced Wednesday that Watson has boarded writer-director James Ponsoldt’s adaptation of Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel.

The “Harry Potter” alumna will portray a young woman who takes a choice job with an Internet company called the Circle, which links users’ email, social media, banking and purchases with a universal operating system. Soon, however, she begins to grapple with the dangers of an increasingly digitized world.

Hanks, who is also a producer on the film, will play a mysterious older man. Production is scheduled to start in September in California.


“Emma Watson is one of my favorite actors, and her incredible talent, sensitivity and deep intelligence will bring an electric energy to ‘The Circle,’” Ponsoldt (“The Spectacular Now”) said in the announcement.

Vikander, the Swedish star of the sci-fi film “Ex Machina,” had previously been attached to “The Circle” but exited recently. She is now set to star alongside Damon and Julia Stiles in the to-be-titled fifth film in the “Bourne” series, a Universal Pictures spokesman said.

Paul Greengrass will direct the “Bourne” movie, which is set for release July 29, 2016.

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