Director Joe Wright Ventures into Action with 'Hanna'

11/17/2009 Posted by Admin

By our guest blogger, Rob Stammitti

Joe Wright, British director of period dramas "Pride & Prejudice" and "Atonement" (as well as this year's "The Soloist"), will be changing his pace entirely with his next project. "Hanna" is an action-thriller about a teenage girl who was trained as an assassin but seeks a normal life.

Empire gives us the scoop on the plot:

"Hanna is a 14 year-old Eastern European girl who has been raised to become a "cold-blooded killing machine". She finds a new life when she "connects" with a French family, and in particular befriends their daughter, but her father soon pulls her back into his world."

If you're at all familiar with Wright, you'll notice this is a pretty drastic departure from his previous work. The closest he's come to action was in "Atonement," which had a couple minor war sequences, but nothing that would suggest he had any interest in helming an actual action feature.

The "Eastern European" part of the plot sounds like it'll fit his sensibilities, as will the teenage girl element, as most of his films, "Atonement" especially, have rather well-developed young female characters. In fact, I'd be interested in seeing "Atonement's" 15-year-old star, Oscar-nominee Saoirse Ronan (also starring in Peter Jackson's 'The Lovely Bones," released next month) in the lead role, which sounds like it'd suit her pretty well.

Of course, this is still one of many projects Wright has lined up. He also has an adaptation of "My Fair Lady" planned and he intends to direct the film "Indian Summer," currently in writing stages.

And this from our guest blogger, Matt Jussim:

I think that Wright is one of Hollywood’s most underrated directors. Although I didn’t see his recent film “The Soloist,” with Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr., his film “Atonement” was an amazing film and was beautifully shot.

In that film Wright showed off his skills as a director with an amazing five-minute tracking shot showing the retreat at Dunkirk by the British Army in WWII. The shot required over 1,000 extras and due to production concerns, could only be shot in one day.

This would be Wright’s first attempt at an action film, and I’m not sure if that type of story is best suited for him. But at the same time, I think he is a very talented and creative director, and this film could turn out to be a surprise critical hit with him behind the camera.

No production dates have been set yet for the film.

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