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Focus Features International Sells Key Overseas Rights on Director Joe Wright's Adventure Thriller Hanna to Sony Pictures

Posted May 17, 2010

Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana Lead Cast

CANNES, May 16, 2010 – Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition Group (SPWAG) has acquired, from Focus Features International (FFI), key international rights to Focus Features’ adventure thriller Hanna, directed by BAFTA Award winner Joe Wright and currently in its final month of filming in Europe for a 2011 release. Focus president of international sales and distribution Alison Thompson and senior vice president of international sales Peter Kujawski made the announcement today.

Academy Award nominee Saoirse Ronan (of Focus’ Atonement, also directed by Mr. Wright), Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett (currently on screen in Robin Hood), and Eric Bana (Star Trek) star in Hanna.

Focus retains rights in North America, the UK, Australia/New Zealand, Greece, Israel, the Middle East, and CIS; and SPWAG has acquired all other international territories.

Ms. Thompson said, “Under Joe Wright’s direction, Hanna is shaping up as a dynamic and highly commercial film, and we are thrilled that Sony has been so quick to recognize its international potential.”

Sony Pictures Entertainment president of worldwide affairs Peter Schlessel added, “It is a pleasure to be in business with Focus on what looks like an intense thriller. Audiences around the world will love this movie.”

Hanna (played by Ms. Ronan) is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a solider; these come from being raised by her father (Mr. Bana), an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own (Ms. Blanchett). As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity.

Focus Features and Focus Features International (www.focusfeatures.com) comprise a singular global company. This worldwide studio makes original and daring films that challenge the mainstream to embrace and enjoy voices and visions from around the world that deliver global commercial success. The company operates as Focus Features in North America, and as Focus Features International (FFI) in the rest of the world.

One of the world’s leading international sales agents, FFI also encompasses international distribution, marketing and publicity. FFI has the special ability to tailor international distribution to suit each film, whether licensing distribution rights to independent companies, or securing distribution through Universal Pictures International.

FFI distributes up to 10 titles annually, approximately half of which are from Focus’ considerable domestic production/release slate and half of which come from partners across the globe. In addition to Hanna, the FFI slate being sold at Cannes includes Robert Redford’s The Conspirator, starring James McAvoy, Robin Wright, and Evan Rachel Wood; Cary Fukunaga’s romantic drama Jane Eyre, starring Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender; the romance One Day, to be directed by Lone Scherfig and adapted by David Nicholls from his novel of the same name; and two films world-premiering in competition at the Festival: Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Biutiful, starring Javier Bardem, and Another Year, from writer/director Mike Leigh and starring Jim Broadbent, Lesley Manville, and Ruth Sheen.

Focus Features, Focus Features International, and Universal Pictures International are part of NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. Formed in May 2004 through the combining of NBC and Vivendi Universal Entertainment, NBC Universal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBC Universal is 80% owned by General Electric and 20% owned by Vivendi.