The adventure thriller Hanna, directed by BAFTA Award winner Joe Wright, begins filming in Europe next week. Focus Features holds worldwide rights to the movie. Focus CEO James Schamus made the announcement today.
Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (of Focus' Atonement, also directed by Mr. Wright), Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (soon to be seen in Robin Hood), and Eric Bana (Star Trek) star in Hanna. Joining the cast is Niels Arestrup, who last month won the César Award (France's Academy Award equivalent) for Best Supporting Actor for A Prophet [Un Prophète].
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. Academy Award nominee Leslie Holleran (Chocolat) is producing Hanna with the team of Marty Adelstein and Scott Nemes (who are in post-production on The Experiment). Barbara A. Hall, who executive-produced Focus' Academy Award-winning Milk, encores in that capacity on Hanna. Focus senior vice president, European production Teresa Moneo is supervising Hanna for president of production John Lyons. European locations for Hanna's filming will include Finland, Bavaria, Morocco, and Berlin (the latter in part at Studio Babelsberg).
Alwin Küchler, who shot the upcoming Morning Glory, is the director of photography, and Lucie Bates (Go for Zucker!) is the costume designer. Mr. Wright is reunited on Hanna with several longtime collaborators, including film editor Paul Tothill (Focus' Pride & Prejudice) and the thrice-Academy Award-nominated team of production designer Sarah Greenwood and set decorator Katie Spencer.
Mr. Schamus said, "We're so pleased to reunite with Saoirse and Joe for Hanna - Focus' biggest production yet. With Saoirse taking on such a demanding role opposite Cate and Eric, this movie will be not only breathlessly exciting but also emotionally affecting."