Susie's Got a Gun: 'Lovely Bones' Star to Play Teen Assassin

Although it was predicted to be one of the winter's hottest movies, The Lovely Bones is being ripped into by critics, who seemingly hate everything about it -- except for Saoirse Ronan, who plays Susie Salmon in the Peter Jackson film (adapted from Alice Sebold's best-selling novel of the same name).

The luminous 15-year-old Oscar nominee (for 2008's Atonement) is poised for A-list stardom before she's even old enough to drive. She's already made a romantic comedy (2007's I Could Never Be Your Woman), a children's movie (2008's City of Ember), and a war film (The Way Back, due in theaters next year). Ronan's next role? Action hero!

In the newly announced movie Hanna, from Atonement director Joe Wright, Saoirse Ronan will portray an Eastern-European teen trained as an assassin by her own father. When she tries breaking from her family to live a normal life, she discovers she's in for the fight of her life.

If the role prevents Ronan from getting stuck in a typical-kid-actress rut, this bloody coming-of-age film could be a savvy career choice. Think young Natalie Portman's role as a hitman's protégé in The Professional (1994), Reese Witherspoon's gun-toting runaway in Freeway (1996), and Ellen Page's turn as a vengeance-seeking high schooler in Hard Candy (2005). These complex, aggressive roles allowed these young stars to demonstrate range while still acting their age. And obviously, all three went on to fabulous careers in adulthood.

Coincidentally, another buzzed-about movie about a hitgirl and her assassin dad -- the comics-based Kick-Ass, starring Nicolas Cage and Chloe Mortez -- is due in 2010. We say, bring it on! We could use more female action heroes.

Do you like action movies with gun-toting girls and women? Chime in below!

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