EXCLUSIVE– One of the hottest Cannes pic packages — the Tom Hanks-Alicia Vikander-starrer The Circle — is in the process of being reconfigured as the star of that young actress soars after her performance as the beguiling robot in Ex Machina. The Swedish actress is in talks to star in two major new tentpoles: Assassin’s Creed, the Justin Kurzel-directed New Regency live-action adaptation of the Ubisoft video game; and the new Jason Bourne picture opposite Matt Damon with Paul Greengrass directing. Deadline understands there’s still some work to do to get the schedules aligned but it appears likely that, whatever happens with those two projects, Vikander is likely to drop off The Circle. Word we are hearing is that the producers have made an offer to Harry Potter star Emma Watson to play the young female lead.
The Circle, based on a Dave Eggers novel and written and directed by James Ponsoldt, was one of the hottest titles at the just-wrapped Cannes market. Vikander’s attachment was only announced on the eve of of the festival — to play a young employee at a tech company called The Circle, who gets involved with a mysterious man — with IM Global virtually selling out international with a slew of big indie deals.
Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s shingle Playtone is producing along with Anthony Bregman’s Likely Story and Ponsoldt and Walter Parkes and Laurie Macdonald. Image Nation Abu Dhabi is fully financing and will present the film in association with Parkes Macdonald Productions. Having Image Nation on board, along with its commitment to finance, gives the project a level of protection against the vagaries of casting and scheduling.
Vikander’s star should continue to rise, as she has Warner Bros’ The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Tom Hooper’s The Danish Girl for Working Title, the Weinstein Co’s Tulip Fever, John Wells’ Adam Jones with Bradley Cooper and Jamie Dornan and Derek Cianfrance’s The Light Between Oceans opposite Michael Fassbender.
Should a deal come together for Assassin’s Creed, it would reunite Vikander with Fassbinder, whose Macbeth, co-starring Marion Cotillard and directed by Justin Kurzel, world premieres in Cannes tonight and has received ecstatic reviews from critics. New Regency and Ubisoft have high hopes for the project. The Assassin’s Creed video game has sold over 91 million units. Production is set to begin in early fall for a December 21, 2016 release through Fox, and the film is being co-financed by RatPac and Alpha Pictures. Frank Marshall, Arnon Milchan, Jean-Julien Baronnet, Conor McCaughan, Fassbender and Pat Crowley are producing. Bill Collage, Adam Cooper and Michael Lesslie scripted.
The Bourne pic, which sees Damon and Greengrass reuniting, is eyeing a July 29 release next year for Universal. Damon and Greengrass are writing the screenplay themselves along with Christopher Rouse. Damon and Greengrass are also producing alongside Gregory Goodman and Frank Marshall.
Vikander is repped by Tavistock Wood Management and UTA.