WARNING: The following contains spoilers for “Forest,” the pilot episode of Amazon’s Hanna.
Joe Wright’s 2011 thriller Hanna took a different spin on the spy game, pitting Saoirse Ronan’s 15-year-old Hanna Heller as a child soldier used by the CIA to cover up its super-soldier program. She and her adoptive father Erik (Eric Bana) are pursued by the project’s chief, Marissa (Cate Blanchett), albeit as part of their trap to kill the person responsible for the murder of Hanna’s mother.
Amazon is now retelling the story as a television series, with one of the film’s writers, David Farr, serving as showrunner. While sticking to the premise of the movie, Farr & Co. make some significant changes to the plot.
The movie didn’t focus much on Hanna’s kidnapping, instead choosing to depict Erik fleeing the CIA with her and her mother Johanna on a Finnish highway. However, the series delves into that backstory, with Joel Kinnaman’s Erik breaking the baby out of the mysterious facility by pretending to be a janitor.
In the process, he glimpses training rooms for super-soldiers, who are genetically modified from birth. But when Erik retrieves Hanna, we see the rest of the babies being kept safe, which is a significant deviation from the film, in which the kids were killed once the illegal program risked being exposed.
The movie kicks off with Hanna pondering life and death as she kills a deer, remarking, “I just missed your heart.” That’s scrubbed from the Amazon pilot, along with the sequence of her father beating her in the ensuing brawl. The show highlights that Esme Creed-Miles’ Hanna is much stronger here than in the feature. That could come down to the two of them living a rougher life, which is now in a cave instead of a log cabin.
While Hanna is taught several languages again, this time Erik also teaches her about American film and music. He doesn’t have the encyclopedias, as in the film, so there’s a chance this Hanna isn’t as educated, and may rely more on her brawn than her brain. To top it off, this Hanna doesn’t have her mother’s Grimm’s Fairy Tales storybook, which was a major theme in the movie, shaping Hanna as a princess out to kill the evil queen Marissa.
In the movie, Hanna’s thirst for revenge is fueled by Marissa’s attack on her family on the highway, which resulted in the car crash that badly wounded her mother. Erik had no choice but to flee with the baby, which left Marissa, enraged she wasn’t able to procure the child, finishing off Johanna.
That plays out differently in the series, with the new Marissa (Mireille Enos) leading a helicopter chase rather than lying in wait like a sniper. She doesn’t take the kill shot, however, but instead instructs a soldier to do so. The car crashes in the woods, with Marissa dying from her injuries.
In the film, Erik trained Hanna for the day she felt ready to go after Marissa. She eventually used his transponder to lure in the CIA giving Erik time to escape so they could rendezvous in Berlin and fulfill their goal. It was a meticulous plan, which they perfected with fake stories and identities.
However, in the Amazon series, the duo’s main plan is simply to survive. Sure, revenge is on their minds, but they have no intention of hunting Marissa or turning themselves in. Instead, Hanna messes things up when she attacks a local boy who tried to kiss her, allowing CIA to get the drop on them. They ambush the duo, which leads to Hanna and Erik fleeing separately to cover more ground. But when Erik is about to get sniped, Hanna acts as a distraction, which results in her being taken in. Luckily, she has a back-up plan to escape and meet Erik, just like in the movie.
Created by David Farr, Hanna stars Esme Creed-Miles, Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman. The full season is available now on Amazon Prime Video.
This article was originally published at Cbr.com