EXCLUSIVE: In what might be the last major movie package shopped before the holidays, studios and financiers are about to have a look at an adaptation of the David Eggers novel The Circle. It is a star vehicle for Tom Hanks; The Spectacular Now‘s James Ponsoldt has written the script and will direct. Hanks and his Playtone partner Gary Goetzman will be attached as producers, but there could be others depending on where it lands. UTA and CAA will handle the auction, starting Wednesday.
Given the current preoccupation with computers and the web, this certainly deals in themes that are on everybody’s minds. The book focuses on a young woman who is hired for a big job in an Internet monopoly called the Circle, which links users’ personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. What could go wrong there? The novel turns into a thriller about the perils of life in a digital age where personal data is collected, sifted and monetized and used for surveillance, rendering privacy is obsolete.
There is some symmetry here between the elements. Hanks just starred in A Hologram For the King, the adaptation of another Eggers novel, directed by Tom Tykwer, who co-directed the Hanks starrer Cloud Atlas.
Ponsoldt just helmed The End Of The Tour and is attached to direct Rodham, the film about the formative years of the young lawyer Hillary Rodham Clinton in Arkansas. He’s also adapting the Julianna Baggott novel Pure.