“The Circle” Is Definitely Not About Google Or The Tyranny of Total Transparency

Even though it may look exactly like Google, the company in The Circle could be about any company at all, really. Yup. Everything is fine.

“The Circle” Is Definitely Not About Google Or The Tyranny of Total Transparency

WHAT: The first trailer for next year’s examination of The Way We Live Now/feature-length Black Mirror episode, The Circle.

WHO: The End of the Tour director James Ponsoldt, stars Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, and author Dave Eggers.

WHY WE CARE: Dave Eggers has sworn up and down that his recent novel, The Circle, is not about any company specifically. What he likely means is that it is based 75% on Google and 25% on Facebook, but who’s counting? In the film version, Emma Watson plays a new hire to a monolithic tech company that preaches total transparency. Tom Hanks plays the CEO, in what looks like an ominous turn that should nicely offset his recent penchant for playing ripped-from-the-news heroes. Although the last combination of Hanks and Eggers in a film, 2015’s A Hologram for the King, had scant cultural impact, The Circle stands to appeal to a much broader audience. Most people are at least a little worried about their information floating in the air all around us–even more so lately, since a presidential candidate spent the entire final stretch of her campaign mired in daily leaked emails. A somber cover of Hall and Oates’s “Private Eyes” plays throughout this first trailer, with its “They’re watching you” hook perhaps a little too on the nose, but certainly accurate.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. He has also written for The Awl, Rolling Stone, McSweeney's, and Salon.