Swedish actress Alicia Vikander is suddenly very much in demand. As her critically acclaimed performance as the alluring humanoid Ava in Alex Garland’s science fiction morality play Ex Machina is currently casting a spell on moviegoers, Vikander appears to be on the cusp of a major breakout. Along with a slew of promising films set to open later this year, today comes word – via The Hollywood Reporter – that the actress may headline a new dramatic thriller called The Circle. Two-time Academy Award-winner Tom Hanks is set as star and producer of the title and James Ponsoldt, director of The Spectacular Now and the upcoming The End of the Tour, will write and direct.
Based on Dave Eggers’ 2013 novel, The Circle revolves around a recent college graduate (potentially to be played by Vikander) who nets a job at a powerful tech company called The Circle. Once there, she becomes involved with the company’s charming co-owner (to be played by Hanks). The thriller seems to have, at the very least, surface echoes of Ex Machina, in which Oscar Isaac portrays an eccentric tech billionaire in the Mark Zuckerberg mold. Anthony Bregman (Foxcatcher) and Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald (Flight) are also aboard as producers. Coincidentally, Hanks recently starred in another Eggers adaptation – the drama A Hologram for the King, directed by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run).
Vikander starting building her acting cred with the 2012 Swedish film A Royal Affair. That film, co-starring Hannibal’s Mads Mikkelsen, earned an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. That same year, Vikander earned warm reviews for her supporting role in Joe Wright’s lush, revisionist take on the classic novel Anna Karenina starring Keira Knightley and Jude Law. Since then, Vikander has had supporting parts in Bill Condon’s critically panned The Fifth Estate and this years’ misbegotten fantasy film The Seventh Son. The rest of 2015 should be far kinder, critically at least, for the actress. With Ex Machina currently breaking out at the box office as the smart counterpoint to summer blockbusters, the actress has no less than six movies slated for arrival by years end, a few of which might well be awards contenders.
High on the most anticipated list is surely The Danish Girl from Oscar-winning director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech), in which Vikander co-stars opposite recent Oscar-winner Eddie Redmayne (The Theory of Everything). The period film from Focus Features centers around groundbreaking artist Lili Elbe, one of the first transgendered women to get a sex change operation. Matthias Schoenaerts (Far From the Madding Crowd) co-stars. Vikander also has The Light Between Oceans slated for later this year, a drama from Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance co-starring Michael Fassbender (12 Years a Slave) and Rachel Weisz (The Lobster). Also expected sometime in 2015 is the romance Tulip Fever from director Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl) and co-starring Jack O’Connell (Unbroken), and the comedy Adam Jones from director John Wells (August: Osage County) starring Bradley Cooper (American Sniper) and Jamie Dornan (Fifty Shades of Grey). Vikander also has the indie period piece Testament of Youth and Guy Ritchie’s The Man from U.N.C.L.E. starring Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and Armie Hammer (The Social Network), coming out this summer.
The Circle will be up for foreign sales at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival, where Vikander is set to also make an appearance, as the actress is in a documentary focusing on perhaps Sweden’s most popular actress of all time, Ingrid Bergman. Vikander voices Bergman in Ingrid Bergman: In Her Own Words, making its world premiere at the film festival.