In Orson Scott Card’s classic Ender’s Game science-fiction novels, space travel can take hundreds, even thousands of years. And fans of the beloved books have sometimes felt it might take that long to get them to the big screen. Various directors, writers, and studios have been circling the project for well over a decade.
But this week things really heated up on the long-awaited film version of the initial 1985 book, Ender’s Game, which follows kids being trained in the future to defend Earth from alien invasion.
Fourteen-year-old Hugo star Asa Butterfield has been cast as the series’ hero Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, and True Grit‘s Oscar-nominated Hailee Steinfeld has signed on to play young Ender’s Battle School friend Petra Arkanian.
Plus there are rumors Harrison Ford is being sought for the role of training commander Colonel Hyrum Graff. The film is being directed and co-written by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine).
In Ender’s Game, pre-teen Andrew Wiggin is selected for battle-command training alongside other high-aptitude children. He’s sent off to Battle School to learn how help lead the defense of Earth against an impending invasion by the Formic alien race (known as “buggers” for their insect- and hive-like physiology and culture).
Summit Entertainment is hoping the Ender series (which is currently at 10 novels, many following Ender as an adult) could be another Harry Potter-style franchise (with more than a few Hunger Games themes present). But before you start thinking of cute children or whiny little Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace, know that Ender’s Game is much more than just a “kiddie Star Wars.”
The book (which is written for adults, not youth) is rich with psychological layers as we see the experiences and personality characteristics–both positive and negative–that make “Ender” (as Wiggin is called) a battle-leader prodigy.
In fact, Ender’s Game draws thematic tension from children being recruited to do very grown-up things. And the subsequent novels focus on characters dealing with the moral aftermath of their actions, as well as the rise of a totalitarian government.
British Butterfield looks like an excellent choice–not only was his performance in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo subtle-but-confident and free of any kid-actor posturing, but his big, darkly knowing eyes make him look a lot like a child version of Malcolm McDowell. That mix of sweetness, determination, and mystery should serve him well as Ender.
Ender’s Game is scheduled for theatrical release in March of 2013.
What say you all? Are you excited for a film version of Card’s novel to finally make it to the screen? Does Butterfield seem like a good choice for Ender?
Vote in the poll, and then explain your “yay,” “nay,” or “maybe” in the comments below
More similarly themed science fiction from Redbox:
- Super 8 on DVD and Blu-ray.
- Green Lantern on DVD and Blu-ray and Green Lantern: Emerald Knights
- The Lost Future
- X-Men: First Class on DVD and Blu-ray
- Hanna on DVD and Blu-ray
- Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Transformers: Dark of the Moon on DVD and Blu-ray
- Sucker Punch on DVD and Blu-ray
- TRON: Legacy on DVD and Blu-ray
- Battle: Los Angeles on DVD and Blu-ray
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 on DVD or Blu-ray and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 coming this Tuesday, December 6 on DVD and Blu-ray
- I Am Number Four on DVD and Blu-ray
- Skyline on DVD and Blu-ray