And Now For Something Completely Different: Joe Wright Directs Hanna

joe-wright-cameraJoe Wright has earned a reputation for directing films like Atonement and Pride & Prejudice, but after his latest production Indian Summer with Cate Blanchett fell into budgetary disarray, he decided to halt the production and jump ship to an action film, the assassin flick Hanna. Heat Vision has the details:

The project has garnered considerable attention in director circles since getting set up at Focus in 2007, with Danny Boyle kicking its tires as a directing vehicle at one point and Alfonso Cuaron circling it in recent weeks.

The project is described as having shades of “La Femme Nikita” and the “Bourne” movies. The story centers on 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 goes through the pangs of adolescence. When the girl is dragged back to her father’s world and discovers that she was bred as a killing machine in a CIA prison camp, she must fight her way to a free life.

Seth Lochhead and David Farr worked on the script.

These kinds of stories about bred killing machines with a mysterious past are a dime a dozen, so the success of such a film usually relies on a whole different set of attributes: an abundance of style and the ability to direct tension and action well. Joe Wright certainly can make a well-rounded movie, beautiful, bold, stylistic, and tense, but he typically lets it simmer quietly. I haven’t seen some of his earlier films before Pride & Prejudice, but Marc Forster tried to make a similar move and was criticized for his frenetic cutting in Quantum of Solace, so I’ll be interested to see if Wright can translate his ability into an action film. I’d have to imagine that the first instinct would be to overproduce, since the pace of the film has gotten so much faster, so he must be careful to guard against that.