"The Lovely Bones" didn’t make much of a dent in the public consciousness when it was released earlier this year, but its star Saoirse Ronan is moving onward and upward regardless. Carlow girl Saoirse, who turns sweet 16 next month, has started filming her newest project, Hanna, with an all-star cast that includes Oscar winner Blanchett and Eric Bana.

Saoirse has spent several weeks in Ireland undergoing rigorous training for the demanding role. According to distributor Focus Features, the title character, Hanna is a teenager who possesses “the strength, the stamina, and the smarts of a solider; these come from being raised by her father, an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Sweden.

"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. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity."

Directing the film is Joe Wright, who worked with Ronan on the Oscar nominated war drama Atonement a couple of years back.  (Saoirse received a best supporting actress nomination for her work.) Focus Features is clearly high on the prospect of teaming the two up once again.

“With Saoirse taking on such a demanding role opposite Cate and Eric, this movie will be not only breathlessly exciting but also emotionally affecting," Focus CEO James Schamus said.