Dustin Hoffman's college graduate Ben Braddock struggled with his future in the 1967 classic The Graduate. Fifty years later, it's Emma Watson as new graduate Mae Holland who seizes with her destiny in The Circle, seen here in an exclusive trailer and movie sneak-peek photos.
"Mae asks many of the same questions. She's struggling, living with her parents, looking for meaning and frustrated," says Circle director James Ponsoldt. "She lands her dream job. Then things start to get weird."
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The Circle's game changer: See Change cameras, glass eyeballs that fit anywhere and transmit real-time filmstrip wirelessly. Mae steps into the See Change world and instantly explodes from entry-level employee to being famous worldwide for sharing her life, fears, and ambitions with millions of strangers.
"She becomes a pseudo-celebrity with her superpower, that she's natural, relatable and willing to speak freely about everything in her life," says Ponsoldt. "But it gets to the point where it's almost a religion and then a glass prison of celebrity."
The Circle Features Hanks' Bailey, John Boyega as a discontented programmer who developed the technology and Patton Oswalt (The Circle's business minder) as the "three wise men" leading the soaring company. "America's Dad" Hanks and Harry Potter's Watson carry career currency to their characters, says Ponsoldt.
"Audiences bring so much much experience as filmgoers with these actors from other roles, Tom instantly brings a level of humanity and sincerity," he says. "Their scenes together are pretty great." Despite Hanks' Apple-style presentations and the reverence of the crowds, Ponsoldt says the tech company depicted onscreen isn't based on any one.
"The Circle is probably like many tech companies, pushing the ethical boundaries over how much autonomy and freedom we should have and how much privacy we should have," says Ponsoldt.
The director has been a fan of Eggers' work since his ground breaking 2000 novel A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and jumped at the chance to work on The Circle after shooting in 2015 David Foster Wallace road-trip film The End of the Tour.
"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 alter universe: slightly skewed, but essentially our world," says Ponsoldt. "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."