As one of the most-watched television events of the year, there's no better time to drum up an audience for a new show than during the Super Bowl. That's why Amazon's new spy thriller series, Hanna, will drop a new trailer on Feb. 3 during the game, and release the first episode to Prime subscribers directly after the final whistle. This won't be the first time the story of this teen girl spy has been told on-screen, though. The Hanna TV series is based on a film by the same name that came out in 2011. While the two versions of the story might have a number of things in common, it also appears that there will be a few key differences that are going to set them apart.
Seth Lochhead and David Farr co-wrote the original script for Hanna, and while Lochhead isn't attached to the Amazon project, Farr is serving as showrunner for the new series. Joe Wright directed the film version, but as is common in television, the new series has four separate directors attached: Adina Smith, Anders Engström, Jon Jones, Amy Neil, per IMDb.
Amazon's Hanna also features a brand new cast. The title role, originally played by Saoirse Ronan, is now being taken over by Esme Creed-Miles; Joel Kinnaman will will pick up the torch from Erik Bana as Eric, Hanna's father and trainer; and Mireille Enos will step in for Cate Blanchett as vengeful spy Marisa.
Ben Pearson of Slashfilm points out that one of the major differences between the two Hannas, which is visible in their respective trailers, is that it appears that Amazon' Hanna has dropped the fairy tale motif that was present in the original. However, Pearson also mentions that it's possible this is only a marketing choice for the promotional material, and that element might turn out to be present in the show in some way.
As the Amazon series spans eight episodes and the film had a run-time of just one hour and 51 minutes, the TV version is undoubtedly going to cover a lot more narrative ground than its predecessor. This will likely take the form of introducing new characters or further developing existing ones. From the IMDb pages alone, the 2011 film featured a cast of just 32, while the 2019 series lists a cast of 65. Characters like Olivier, Jerome, Jay, and Costigan appear to be new additions that will be playing relatively substantial roles in the show, appearing in three or more episodes.
The Amazon trailer also shows a greater emphasis on Hanna spending time with her friends, beyond just Sophie, who is the only friend featured in the 2011 marketing material. With all the extra time that a full TV series affords, it would make sense that the new Hanna would choose to focus more on the conflict between Hanna's two lives: one as a lethal warrior and the other as normal teenager.
Slashfilm's Pearson further notes that the theme of both stories — that because she is a young girl, most people will underestimate Hanna's strength, but she can use that as her greatest asset — is a timely one at the moment. But really, whether it's 2011, 2019, or 3000, isn't it always the right time for more stories about courageous female action heroes who can take care of themselves?