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Concepts that will always stop me in my tracks: when a visually compelling director (in this case, Atonement‘s Joe Wright) takes on a project that is being described as having shades of La Femme Nikita and the Bourne movies.

That is how Borys Kit at Heat Vision is describing Hanna, the next project for Wright. It is a project that has been kicked around by several directors since it was set up at Focus Features in 2007, including Danny Boyle and more recently, Children of Men director Alfonso Cuaron. The story revolves aroudn a 14-year old Eastern European girl who has been raised by her father to be a cold-blooded killing machine. She connects with a French family, forms a friendship with their daughter and begins going through the norms of adolescence. But when she is dragged back into her fathers world, she discovers that she was bred as a killing machine in a CIA prison camp, resulting in her having to fight for her life.

If that concept — based on a script from Seth Lochhead and David Farr — doesn’t sound like something you’d like to see make it to your local theater, then there may be no help for you. For Wright, it is a great deviation from the adult dramas he’s been directing since breaking onto the scene with Pride & Prejudice. He was mildly successful with 2009’s The Soloist, but his previously scheduled upcoming project Indian Summer (another adult period drama) was killed at Universal due to the unfavorable conditions for that type of film. Now that he’s moving on to something with a bit more intrigue and some action, he may just have a chance to spread his wings visually and show us what he can do.


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