Warning: SPOILERS for Hanna.
Amazon's TV adaptation of Hanna makes some big changes from the 2011 film that sets up a potentially long-running series beyond the eight episodes of season 1. The Hanna TV series stars Esme Creed-Miles as Hanna, Joel Kinnaman as Erik Heller, and Mireille Enos as Marissa Wiegler, taking over the roles played by Saoirse Ronan, Eric Bana, and Cate Blanchett, respectively, in the film directed by Joe Wright (Darkest Hour).
A total reboot of the film, the Hanna TV series abandons Wright's surreal, fairy tale-like style for a more gritty and grounded approach. And yet, the first two episodes of Hanna season 1 still largely follow the film's main beats: After rescuing baby Hanna from UTrax, a secret CIA facility in Romania, ex-soldier Erik Heller raises the girl in the forest and trains her to fight, hunt, and kill, while keeping the secret that she's a genetically engineered super-soldier from her. Eventually, they are found by Marissa Weigler and they separate; Heller heads to Berlin to enact his master plan while Hanna is captured and held in a CIA black site. Hanna escapes, finds befriends a British family vacationing in Morocco, and then reunites with Erik in Berlin to confront Marissa.
However, by the third episode, Hanna diverges completely from the film's story and leaves it behind entirely. The series sets up a larger universe, spins Hanna off onto new adventures, answers key questions about Hanna's origin, and sets up new friends and enemies for season 2 while keeping a major character who died in the film alive. Here are the biggest differences between the 2011 film and Amazon's Hanna TV series.
- This Page: Big Changes To Erik Heller And Marissa Wiegler
- Page 2: The Hanna TV Series Creates Other Super-Soldiers Like Her
Marissa Wiegler Isn't The Main Villain
Cate Blanchett's Marissa was the fairy tale-like wicked queen/main villain out to kill Hanna full-stop; Blanchett's Marissa even cold-bloodedly murders Erik's mother, which Mireille Enos' version of the CIA operative pointedly doesn't do. In the series, Marissa does start out as the main villain but she gradually finds she's as much of a target as Erik and Hanna. When Norris, the mysterious woman at CIA headquarters in Colorado overseeing the new UTrax Regenesis program, learns that Heller and the last girl from Wiegler's original UTrax are still alive, she dispatches Jerome Sawyer (Khalid Abdallah) to clean up Marissa's mess - and to put down Marissa as well.
Sawyer takes over Marissa's operation and uses her resources to hunt Hanna and Erik down. When Marissa learns she's been supplanted, she goes off-book to find Hanna herself. Sawyer allows Marissa to help him find Hanna before he eventually orders Marissa's death but she kills her would-be assassins and then turns the table on Sawyer. While Marissa's motivation throughout season 1 was to eliminate the last remnants of UTrax, she has a change of heart when she sees how quickly and ruthlessly her employers betrayed her and after meeting and spending time with Hanna.
Erik Has Friends Who Help (And Betray) Him
In the Hanna film, Eric Bana's Erik was a deadly assassin with James Bond-like killing skills and he was a lone wolf. Joel Kinnaman's Erik has been conceived differently as an ex-soldier with the United Nations and he has friends he calls upon to help him. In Berlin, the loyal soldiers from Erik's old unit come to his aid, including Dieter (Benno Fürmann) and Elsa (Katharina Heyer), and they hatch a successful scheme to kidnap Marissa in order to coerce her to arrange transport so Hanna and Erik can flee to safety.
Unfortunately, Sawyer took over Marissa's operation while she was held captive and Hanna refused to travel with Erik, which led to him getting shot when they were ambushed at the airport by the CIA. Sawyer then rescued Marissa and his people killed Erik's friends, except Dieter, whose family Sawyer threatened until he revealed where Erik was hiding. Erik forgave Dieter for betraying him, however, as he understands doing anything you have to do to keep your family safe.
Hanna and Erik Have A Falling Out
Amazon's Hanna makes it clear that Erik Heller isn't Hanna's father. However, Hanna believed that he was as she grew up and the truth causes her to distrust Erik, who refuses to answer her many direct questions about who she is and where she comes from. Eventually, Hanna grows tired of Erik's lies and evasion; at the pivotal moment at the airport in Berlin when they were supposed to board an aircraft to get away, Hanna refused to go with Erik and ran away. Hanna spends much of the series on her own away from Erik before they are reunited in the penultimate episode.
Sophie's Family Aren't Placed In Danger
Just like in the film, Hanna escapes from a CIA black site in Morocco and encounters Sophie (Rhianne Barreto) in the desert. Sophie is vacationing with her family and Hanna ends up traveling with them, though the family is far more dysfunctional than it was in the movie. Sophie is also just as enamored with and fascinated by Hanna as Jessica Barden's version was of Saoirse Ronan's Hanna.
Meanwhile, Marissa recruits mercenaries to hunt down Hanna and they track her to Spain, but unlike in the film, where Isaacs, the whimsical killer played by Tom Hollander, kidnaps Sophie and her family and holds them hostage, the family isn't placed in any direct danger. The mercs in the series only target Hanna. Sophie does witness Hanna fight and escape her captors at a train station and later on, Marissa literally comes to their home in London posing as Hanna's mother, but Hanna doesn't inadvertently bring any violence to the hapless family's doorstep.