Given the amount of surveillance and the ubiquity of social media sharing, the unexamined life may well and truly be a thing of the past. But how much is too much, and what happens when privacy vanishes? That’s just one idea explored by Emma Watson and Tom Hanks in new techno-thriller The Circle. The first trailer has now arrived via USA Today.
Directed by James Ponsoldt, who adapts Dave Eggers’ novel, The Circle finds Watson as Mae Holland, an ambitious young woman hired to work for the titular internet megacorp, partly run by the charismatic, Steve Jobs-meets-Mark Zuckerberg tycoon Bailey (Hanks). The idea behind the company is uniting users’ email, social media, banking and online shopping, plus a mobile camera system in its universal operating system as one identity, with this leading to a new age of transparency and civility.
But of course, it’s not that simple – and the story becomes a thriller that exploits the dangers of a digital life where all personal data is collected and pervasive surveillance means that privacy is a thing of the past. And though she’s in the middle of it, the Circle might not have her best interests at heart…
“When Dave’s book came out, it felt like speculative fiction, the future around the corner. But shooting it, we thought of it as an alternaverse: slightly skewed, but essentially our world,” Ponsoldt tells the paper’s site. “It’s a fun ride. We live through Mae. She is us. You will walk out of the theater and have a serious look at yourself and how you’re living your life.” For more from the director, head to USA Today.