The project is based on Dave Eggers’ novel about a college graduate (Vikander) who goes to work 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. Once there she meets h a mysterious older man (Hanks). James Ponsoldt adapted the novel and is directing. Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s shingle Playtone is producing along with Anthony Bregman’s Likely Story and Ponsoldt as well as Walter Parkes and Laurie Macdonald. Image Nation Abu Dhabi is fully financing, and will present the film in association with Parkes/Macdonald Productions. CAA and UTA are repping domestic rights.
The film has sold to Germany (Universum), the UK (Studiocanal), Latin America (Imagem), France (Mars), Italy (Good Films), Scandinavia (Mis. Label), Benelux (Paradiso), Australia (Roadshow), Switzerland (Impuls), Middle East (Selim Ramia & Co), Poland (Prorom), Czech/Slovak (Prorom) Hungary, Romania, ex-Yugo, Bulgaria (all Prorom), South Africa (Ster Kinekor), Taiwan (Catchplay), Hong Kong (Bravos), Greece (Spentzos), Portugal (Lusomundo), Thailand (JoynContents), Turkey (Aqua), Philippines (Pioneer), Indonesia (Cinema 21), Israel (United King), Asia PTV (Star TV) and Airline (Captive).
As opposed to some other sales agents, who have closed multi-territory studio deals for their higher-profile titles, IM Global has kept it entirely indie despite more than one multiple territory studio offer on the table. As one of the most keenly watched titles of the market, speculation had been rife that this could follow in the footsteps of Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, which was acquired worldwide by Focus and Universal Pictures. Universal also acquired multiple territories on both Charlize Theron-starrer The Coldest City and Lenny Abrahamson’s Room. IM Global’s sales team, led by new president of international Michael Rothstein, made a concerted effort to keep this open for indie buyers. It remains to be seen whether a domestic deal will go to a studio or not, or indeed when. As of today, at least, a domestic deal was not expected to close during the fest.