Hans Christian Anderson‘s The Little Mermaid, first published in 1837, has been adapted into a great variety of media. The most famous is Disney’s animated musical of the same name, which helped kickstart the revitilization of Disney animation when it was released to great success in 1989.
So any new adaptation of The Little Mermaid is probably going to be seen as a remake of Disney’s movie, whether or not that is really the case. In fact that’s not the case for the new version being prepped by Working Title and Atonement director Joe Wright, who claims much greater inspiration from a theatre production of the tale. Read More »
USA Today has a first look at Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (The Lovely Bones) as a 16-year-old killing machine in Joe Wright‘s Hanna. In the film, Saoirse plays the title character in Hanna, who has been “raised from childhood to be the perfect assassin by her ex-CIA man father (Eric Bana) in rural Finland.” But this is NOT Hit-Girl. Wright is probably best known for his period dramas Atonement and Pride & Prejudice. Hanna is a different type of film: and action/adventure/thriller.
The film also stars Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (Robin Hood), Eric Bana (Star Trek), and Niels Arestrup (Un Prophète). The film’s official plot synopsis follows:
Hanna (to be played by Ms. Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a solider; these come from being raised by her father (Mr. Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Sweden. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Ms. Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.
Seth Lochhead wrote the initial screenplay and has written subsequent drafts, as have David Farr, Joe Penhall, and Mr. Wright. Hanna is aiming for a 2011 release.
Atonement director Joe Wright is assembling the key cast for his teen assassin film Hanna, which already has Saoirse Ronan as the female lead. Now the movie that Brendon called “a kind of Nikita-meets-Leon, Kick-Ass-meets-Bourne mash-up” has a male lead: Eric Bana will play (I’m assuming) Hanna’s father, who has spent most of the girl’s fourteen years training her to be a killer.
The film shoots in March with Wright directing from a script by Seth Lochhead. [Variety]
After the break, Ed Helms finds yet another comedy; this time, it’s the directorial debut of writer Etan Cohen. Read More »
Some people probably saw this coming when Joe Wright signed on to direct, but I have to admit that I didn’t. Atonement‘s Saoirse Ronan is now in negotiations to take the title role in Wright’s upcoming action-thriller Hanna. The film is a kind of Nikita-meets-Leon, Kick-Ass-meets-Bourne mash-up about a 14 year old girl who has finely honed killing skills. Calling her an assassin is slightly off the mark I think, but it does get something like the right idea across. Once upon a time, Danny Boyle was attached to direct.
Having read a draft of Seth Lochhead‘s screenplay I can see how brilliantly Ronan fits the role. The specific requirements aren’t too exacting – she’s just a year or two older than the character but looks young enough, and she has those big and innocent eyes that would play off against her violent acts in the way you’d expect. Had this movie been made back in the early 00′s, I’m sure Keira Knightley would have been chased down for the role.
Joe Wright may have faltered recently with The Soloist, but his Pride and Prejudice and Atonement were strong enough to convince me to follow his rising career. He was slated to take on Indian Summer with Cate Blanchett, but now that that project has been put on hold due to budgetary concerns, it seems that Wright is eying an action-adventure thriller, Hanna. Action is an entirely new genre for Wright, but it’s one I think he’ll take to quite nicely given his propensity for luscious visuals.
It’s nothing like the merry-go-round of screenwriters but it does sometimes seem that pretty much all studio pictures go through a few directors on their way to the screen. Very often a director will board a project, wrestle with it for months, if not years, then depart. Other times, a whole list of directors will have passed pretty much as soon as they close the script and a project can find some time to find somebody willing to commit.
The last we told you, Marc Forster was going to direct zombie epic World War Zfrom a script by Matthew Carnahan. Some rumours bubbled up in the summer that he was off the project, but died down pretty quickly, and now word is definitely that he’s very much still in the driving seat. On the other hand, our last report on Joe Wright told you that he would be directing Keira Knightley in a new version of My Fair Lady and that, it has now become clear, isn’t the case at all.
Keira Knightley has been informally linked to a remake of My Fair Lady for some time now. It was always something of a no brainer to see her as the most likely candidate, and I suspect some of the previous stories were nothing more than guess work based more upon her cheekbones than any inside information. Now, however, she’s been more concretely linked to the project once again and Joe Wright has been named as the director. You’ll likely recall that he collaborated with Knightley previously on Pride and Prejudice and Atonement before tarnishing his Adademy cred a little with The Soloist.
DreamWorks has released the trailer for The Soloist. Written by Susannah Grant (Erin Brockovich) and directed by Joe Wright (Atonement), The Soloist tells the true story of Nathaniel Ayers (played by Jamie Foxx), a musical prodigy who developed schizophrenia during his second year at Juilliard School. Ayers became homeless, playing the violin and the cello in the streets of downtown Los Angeles. Robert Downey Jr plays Steve Lopez, a columnist for the Los Angeles Times who developed a friendship while writing an article about Ayers. You can read the original newspaper article which became the basis for the story on LATimes.com. Catherine Keener and Stephen Root co-star.
The film looks a little more glossy and “Hollywood” than the Oscar bait that I had been expecting. But if Downey is there, I’m in as well. Tell me what you think in the comments below.
The Soloist is scheduled to hit theaters on November 21st, just in time for Awards season.