Emma Watson has experience playing a character who helps topple an evil wizard hellbent on purity and world domination. Her co-star, John Boyega, also has a bit of similar experience battling shady empires, thanks to his role in Star Wars: Episode VIII . Together, will their characters be able to overthrow what could be the evilest empire of all: Silicon Valley.
The Circle, an adaptation of Dave Eggers’ dystopian sci-fi novel directed by James Ponsoldt, offers Emma Watson her chance.
In a plot familiar to thousands of rock-climbing, Bi-Rite-frequenting denizens of San Francisco, Mae Holland (Watson), a recent college grad, gets a job at The Circle, a tech company laden with organic snacks, ping-pong tables, and nerdy humor. But The Circle’s commitment to transparency—the company’s motto is “Secrets are Lies”—masks the ambitions of its founders (including Bailey, played by Tom Hanks) for a complete surveillance state. It’s up to Mae and her co-worker Kalden (John Boyega) to navigate just what the internet can do.
The novel, authored by resident Bay Area tech satirist (or curmudgeon) Dave Eggers, offers a dark vision of the web, transparency, and ambition. (Eggers also wrote A Hologram for the King, which Tom Hanks adapted into a movie where he played another middle-aged white guy in tech—that time, one considerably less self-satisfied.) Watch as the trailer transitions from Facebook recruitment video to Black Mirror in a matter of seconds, all to ominous orchestral swells—but be sure not to look the internet in the eye while you do it.
In the trailer, Hanks’ character espouses an ideology of radical transparency. “Without secrets, without the hoarding of knowledge and information, we can finally realize our full potential,” he says at one point. His latest technological breakthrough is a tiny camera that allows people to essentially live stream every moment of their waking lives and allows others to see every single thing that they see (wait, didn’t Snapchat recently unveil something like that?)
The Circle hits theaters April 28, 2017.