Irish starlet Saoirse Ronan is to show her darker side, after being snapped up to play a teen assassin in a new blockbuster film.
The Carlow native (pictured right) is in talks with Atonement director Joe Wright, to play an Eastern European girl (14), who has been raised by her father to be a cold-hearted killer.
She will play the title character in Hanna, which is already being considered to be the younger female equivalent of the hit Bourne movies, starring Matt Damon.
The film sees the agile teen escape from the clutches of her father, where she connects with a French family, forms a friendship with their daughter and goes through the pangs of adolescence.
But when she is dragged back to her father's world and discovers that she was bred as a killing machine in a CIA prison camp, she must fight her way to a free life.
Wright was responsible for Ronan's breakout role in 2007's Atonement, and as Oscar buzz continues to surround the young actress's every move, her new role is already causing award hype.
Hanna is set for a 2012 release date and will see Ronan playing a very different character to her latest role in Peter Jackson's The Lovely Bones.
The actress (15) plays the victim of a bmurder in the film, which will be released later this month, and stars alongside Mark Wahlberg, Rachel Weisz and Susan Sarandon.
Her character Susie Salmon has been raped and killed, and she attempts to solve the mystery of her own death from beyond the grave.
Since filming wrapped, she has become a favourite to take home the Best Actress gong at this year's Academy Awards. She has also been tipped for a IFTA award for the role.
She was previously nominated for an Oscar for her role in Atonement, but the starlet has not let her fame go to her head.
The level-headed actress revealed that she was still coming to grips with the new Oscar talk.
"I haven't even seen [the film]," she said. "Now there are all these Oscar polls saying I'm going to win. I should take it as a compliment, though."