Emma Watson is to star with Tom Hanks in 'The Circle'.

The 'Harry Potter' star will play young college graduate Mae Holland who is hired to work for an internet super-company, which shares its name with the title, run by a tycoon portrayed by Hanks and two others known as the ''Three Wise Men''.

Hanks' character's vision for his business is to unite users' email accounts, social media usage, banking and online shopping under one operating system to create a transparent and open community on the web.

However, Watson's character soon discovers the company's intentions are more sinister as she starts to unravel the real reasons for their data collection and surveillance of their customers and staff.

Alicia Vikander was originally supposed to play Mae Holland but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.

The screenplay is based on Dave Eggers' 2013 novel of the same name and has been adapted by James Ponsoldt, who will also direct.

In a statement released to Variety about the casting, Ponsoldt said: ''Emma Watson is one of my favourite actors, and her incredible talent, sensitivity and deep intelligence will bring an electric energy to 'The Circle'.''

Watson, 25, is currently shooting Disney's live action re-imagining of 'Beauty and the Beast' and can next be seen on screen in 'Regression'.