Image Nation Abu Dhabi announced a deal to fully finance James Ponsoldt's upcoming feature adaptation of Dave Eggers' novel The Circle. The film will be presented by Image Nation in association with Parkes MacDonald Productions. IM Global are handling international sales on the film and will be repping it at this year's Cannes Film Festival. US rights are being jointly repped by UTA Independent Film Group and CAA.
The feature adaptation of The Circle, has been written and will be directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now). The film is being produced by Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman for Playtone, Anthony Bregman for Likely Story, and James Ponsoldt. Alicia Vikander (Ex Machina) will star alongside Tom Hanks. Three other major roles are currently out to casting and will be announced shortly. Shooting on The Circle will start August 2015 in California.
Dave Eggers' novel focuses on a young woman who is hired for a big job 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. The novel turns into a contemporary thriller about the perils of life in a digital age where personal data is collected, sifted and monetized and used for surveillance, rendering privacy obsolete. This project marks the second time Tom Hanks has collaborated with Dave Eggers. Hanks also starred in the Dave Eggers' adaptation A Hologram for the King, directed by Tom Tykwer. Here's what Michael Garin, CEO of Image Nation, had to say in a statement.
"The Circle is a fantastic modern day thriller that shines a light on the role of the Internet and our own identities in a world of increasing transparency and privacy issues. Image Nation is thrilled to be working with the Playtone team, as well as A Likely Story and James Ponsoldt, on its next international production. Image Nation's international projects have helped subsidize and build our local industry here in Abu Dhabi and the region, while creating opportunities for our local talent to work on large scale international productions and this film will help continue that effort."
Walter F. Parkes of Parkes Macdonald offered his own statement.
"We have a long history with Tom Hanks and Playtone and have had the privilege of working with Tom on such projects as Catch Me If You Can, Saving Private Ryan, The Terminal and Road to Perdition. When we heard a filmmaker of James Ponsoldt's stature was looking for financing partners for The Circle, we felt that our relationship with Image Nation put us in a unique position to help make this extraordinary project a reality."
The Circle marks the latest project in a long-term collaboration between Image Nation and Parkes Macdonald. The two companies are also partnered on the upcoming feature documentary He Named Me Malala, directed by Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim, which will be released worldwide by Fox Searchlight in 2015. The film is an intimate portrait of Malala Yousafzai, who was wounded when Taliban gunmen opened fire on her and her friends' school bus in Pakistan's Swat Valley.
In parallel with its international activities, Image Nation has been ramping up its film and TV production output over the last year and recently wrapped its next feature film from first time feature Emirati director, Majid Al Ansari. Zinzana is set to release in the UAE this fall. The company's documentary slate also includes Every Last Child, directed by award-winning filmmaker Tom Roberts, which follows the lives of five people caught up in the current Polio crisis in Pakistan. Zeitgeist Films releases Every Last Child in the U.S. from June 3, and the film recently screened as part of the Special Presentations lineup at the Hot Docs international documentary festival in Canada. Ponsoldt is repped by Brillstein Entertainment Partners and attorneys Andrew Hurwitz and Alan Sacks at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. Vikander is repped by UTA, Tavinstock Wood Management and Actors in Scandinavia.