Amazon Prime's Hanna TV series makes a major change to the story of the film. Created by the movie's co-writer David Farr, 2019's Hanna reboots the 2011 movie directed by Joe Wright that starred Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, and Saoirse Ronan. The Killing's Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman take over the roles of the villainous CIA agent Marissa Weigler and Hanna's father and former special forces operative-turned-fugitive Erik Heller respectively, while Esme Creed-Miles is the new Hanna.
While the series premieres in March 2019, "Forest", Hanna's pilot episode, was streamed for 24 hours on Amazon Prime following Superbowl LIII. The series advances the timeline; Hanna is now born in 2003 and "Forest" begins by showing what the film only implied in backstory: Erik breaking into a CIA facility in Romania and stealing the baby Hanna. Erik, Hanna, and her mother Johanna (Joanna Kulig) are then tracked down by the CIA and attempt to flee.
But that's where the Hanna TV show deviates from the movie. Instead of Marissa shooting Johanna dead on the road like in the film, this time the CIA agent chases the family via helicopter and forces their car to crash and explode as they attempt to make it to the forest. Johanna is killed but Erik escapes with baby Hanna into the woods.
The Hanna TV Show Follows The Same Story Beats... But With Some Differences
Hanna's pilot echoes the first act of the film with many familiar beats. Hanna, now 16, shoots a deer and is ambushed by Erik; this time, Hanna actually defeats her father with a chokehold though she learns the same lesson that she would already be dead regardless (however, Hanna does not say "I just missed your heart"). Like in the film, Hanna ferociously trains in the forest with Erik, but they live in a cave instead of a log cabin.
Erik has again taught Hanna many languages including French, German, and Spanish, but he also taught her about popular American films and music. However, Erik doesn't have the encyclopedias that he has in the film, suggesting Creed-Miles' Hanna doesn't have the same level of education as Saoirse Ronan's version did. Hanna also doesn't have Johanna's Grimm's Fairy Tales storybook to connect her to her mother like in the film.
Hanna TV Show's Biggest Change To The Movie's Plot
In the biggest divergence from the film's story, Hanna meets Arvo (Aleksandr Gorchilin), a 17-year-old boy who works cutting logs. Even though Erik taught Hanna "human beings are not to be trusted" and set up a perimeter she is forbidden to cross, Hanna yearns to see what's beyond the forest and disobeys him. Arvo befriends Hanna, gives the girl her first Snickers bar, and takes Hanna on what's essentially her first date. Hanna tells Arvo she doesn't want him to kiss her, suggesting Hanna is more interested in girls like the film also implied. When Hanna and Arvo are caught by security, Hanna rushes him and tells Erik what happened. Meanwhile, word of Hanna being located makes it back to Marissa, who has a husband and family unlike in the film. Marissa sends soldiers into the forest to kill Erik and retrieve Hanna.
Hanna's mistake with Arvo changes the circumstances of how Hanna and Erik leave the forest. In the film, Erik hid a transponder that would alert Marissa of their location; he always knew Hanna would choose to contact Marissa. They had a plan in place for Hanna to surrender as Erik escaped so they could later rendezvous in Berlin. In the Amazon Hanna series, Erik had no intention of ever leaving the forest, to Hanna's dismay. Hanna being seen with Arvo set everything into motion.
The TV series then changes why Hanna is captured: when the soldiers arrive, Erik and Hanna flee their cave with a similar plan to separate and later rendezvous in Berlin. Hanna takes a walkie from a soldier she kills but when she hears Erik is about to be shot, she alerts to the soldiers to her location; this implies Hanna chooses to sacrifice herself in the moment to save her father, changing their plan entirely. A captive Hanna is then airlifted by helicopter to the mysterious Camp G location as directed by Marissa.
Overall, Erik trusted Hanna's skills and resourcefulness more in the film than in the series; Creed-Miles' Hanna seems more vulnerable than Ronan's while Joel Kinnaman's Erik is more severe and volatile than Bana's. But Amazon's series is set to tell a deeper and more complex story than the film did and these are the first of what are bound to be many surprising divergences when Hanna season 1 releases in March.