One of the panels at the New York Comic-Con 2010 that not many people knew anything about, was Atonement and Pride and Prejudice director Joe Wright‘s latest film, Hanna. But after learning a little about it, your interest in the assassin drama may just be piqued. On hand for the panel was Wright and stars Saoirse Ronan and Eric Bana.
The movie tells the story of a 14-year-old girl named Hanna (Ronan) who is raised in the wilds of Northern Finland by her father, Eric (Bana), to be a deadly young assassin. As any young teenager would, she begins yearning to explore the world and meet different people — she’s only really known her father and what she’s read in her books, which consists of an encyclopedia and Grimm’s Fairy Tales, causing her to have something of a fantastical-yet-false sense of what the real world is really like. In order to get to explore the world as she so wishes, she must first complete a dangerous mission: to find and assassinate a CIA agent named Marissa (Cate Blanchett), who her father had thought was already dead.
The panel gets going with a little info on the story and characters. Ronan talks about how her character is something of a freak given the strange environment she’s been raised in, but that this was what was appealing about the role. The actress, who’s now 16 years of age, is a budding star with memorable roles in movies like Atonement, City of Ember, and The Lovely Bones. Though none of those required the amount of work that she had to do for Hanna; to become the young assassin, Ronan trained 5-6 hours a day beginning two months before production started, and even learned martial arts for her character.
The first of two clips is was then shown, and it focused mainly on Blanchett’s Marissa character, perhaps because she wasn’t able to make it to the convention. Before rolling the clip, it was revealed that the audio being used was temporary, and that The Chemical Brothers would be creating the score used in the final product.
The clip basically just shows Blanchett in a hotel room listening to audio tapes of Hanna’s mother, who was killed. Her phone then rings and it’s Eric; the two share a few pleasant unpleasantries before Eric hangs up. Moments later a bullet tears through her door, killing her guard. She struggles to get her gun and a pretty chaotic firefight unfolds before Eric bursts through to discover that Marissa is nowhere to be found.
They talk about filming in various locations, including Finland, where it got as cold as -35 degrees Celsius. Ronan called it one of the hardest things she ever had to do, filming a fight scene on a frozen lake when it’s so cold your muscles won’t work. They said that the shots are really beautiful, but still very difficult. Bana looked to mixed martial arts to inspire his style of fighting in the movie, but was worried about fight scenes with Ronan because she’s just a young girl. The young actress quickly proved her toughness and ability to throw down.
A second clip was then shown. This time, Marissa has Hanna captured. The scene shows a discombobulated Hanna being given a psych evaluation in a holding cell. Her questioner asks her if she’d like anything, to which she requests to speak to Marissa face-to-face, but when they see something strange in her blood and hair samples, they approach with extreme caution. Hanna looks around and notices there’s cameras everywhere.
Instead of sending Marissa in, they send in a decoy with Hanna not knowing what Marissa looks like. The decoy enters the room and introduces herself, with Marissa speaking to her through an earpiece to ensure accuracy in detail when telling the story about how she met Hanna’s father. The decoy then asks where her father is, and Hanna begins crying and the two embrace, with Hanna hanging on tightly around the neck and waist. Onlooking agents on the outside warn the decoy not to get too close, and urge her to abort and get away, but at that point it’s far too late. Hanna snaps the decoy’s neck and kills the guard before taking his gun, which she uses with deadly accuracy on the other guards before shooting out the cameras.
Considering how little we knew of this movie, and Wright’s talent as a filmmaker, Hanna is absolutely one to keep your eyes on. It looks to have a ton of potential thus far, we just need to hope it’s able to distinguish itself from other young assassin movies like The Professional and Kick-Ass.