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.


The cast for Jim Sheridan‘s new film Dream House has shaped up to be pretty impressive. We’ve had Daniel Craig and Naomi Watts so far; now Rachel Weisz has entered the fray. She’ll play Craig’s wife. He’s “a successful publisher who quits his Gotham job and relocates his wife and two daughters to a quaint New England town, only to discover that their perfect new home was the murder scene of a mother and her two children.”

There’s a bit more to the script than that, but I’m shying away from posting all the spoilery stuff here. Suffice to say that I’m curious about what Sheridan will do with the picture. [Variety]

After the break, Cate Blanchett joins Joe Wright’s assassin film Hanna and Katherine Heigl enables an adaptation of a long-running series of thriller novels. Read More »


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.

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joe wrightJoe 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.

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There’s been a whole lot of Danny Boyle in the news these last couple of weeks and now, I’m afraid to say, here comes another lump. Open up.

Rumors bubbling up at the EW Hollywood Insider blog suggest that Danny Boyle is closing in on a remake of My Fair Lady. This rehash already has a script, penned by Emma Thompson, and will once again be a musical. I suspect a lot of /Film readers will be disappointed to read that Boyle’s desire to net the Lady gig will see him shelving Hanna, a more readily geek-appealing story of a teenage assassin.

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