ENDER'S GAME Producer Answers Fan Questions; New Set Photo Released
Published: May 18, 2012 - 7:10am
ENDER'S GAME, based on the best-selling, award-winning novel by Orson Scott Card, is an epic adventure about a brilliant young strategist named Ender Wiggin who is drafted by the International Fleet to save the human race. Directed by Gavin Hood, the film also stars Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld.
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew "Ender" Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn't make the cut--young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender's skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender's two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If, that is, the world survives.
Last week, the official Ender's Game Production Blog asked fans to submit questions about the upcoming adaption. Producer Roberto Orci has now selected to answer several:
Valentine asks: As fans of the book, what is your favorite scene from the book? Do you have a different favorite scene from the movie?
"I always loved the scenes within the Mind Game that Ender believes he plays for recreation in the orbiting battle school. Part video game, part psychological test, and if you know the book, part something extraordinary that shouldn’t be given away for those who have not read the book. As for my favorite scene from the movie, we are still filming it so I haven’t seen it yet!"
Reuben asks: Question to Mr. Orci — How has this production differed from past (and other current) projects? I’m especially interested to know how you feel about the cast’s interactions and your feelings about the script, now that you see it ‘in action’.
"Let’s see. Well first, though I have had some experience with bringing beloved stories to the screen that had intelligent and rabid fan bases like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3, TRANSFORMERS, and STAR TREK, this is the first movie with a pre-existing fan base I have worked on that I didn’t write. This means I that got the chance to evaluate the material merely as a fan. Gavin’s script made me jealous, but it was also a relief that he had satisfied what I would want as a fan from a difficult adaptation. Also, I have never worked with so many talented young actors who became friends so fast under such amazing circumstances. Seeing Asa, who plays Ender, and Hailee, who plays Petra, floating high above the set and getting the giggles was amazing and frightening all at once. They laughed for like twenty minutes, which as a producer on a clock eager to finish your shooting day can give you a heart attack. But soon we all had the giggles, and the joy of it overcame the panic."
Chris Neumann asks: What are the visual influences for the movie? Syd Mead or Star Trek? 2001 or Armageddon? Jon Berkey or Michael Bay?
"Visual influences? One thing I can tell you is that Gavin Hood is a gigantic Stanley Kubrick fan, and it shows. And yet, in some of the Zero G battles, things are going on that Kubrick never had a chance to tackle. The technology and advancements in film making available to us allowed us to realize a vision that is totally unique and modern while also being, as Harrison Ford calls it, one of the most emotional science fiction movies he has ever seen."
William Harley asks: How much time is going to be spent on developing Graff’s relationship with Ender? To me, those insights into the command level of the school really brought out the meaning of leadership and how to tackle the challenges that come up.
"The relationship between Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and Ender (Asa Butterfield) is key to the movie’s success. Graff would love nothing more than to be Ender’s friend, yet Graff can’t always show it because he has to make it clear to Ender that in the event of another alien invasion, there will be no one available to help him. Their relationship is simultenously heartbreaking and fun."
Paul2012 asks: Is it a movie for adults, about kids, or a kids movie? I hope for the former.
"Like the book, the movie Ender’s Game is about young protagonists dealing with one of the most adult situations known to man: WAR. We don’t soft peddle it, yet we don’t shy away from the fun of being in space and learning amazing new skills that we would all want to learn at any age."
Ender's Game is based on Orson Scott Card's Hugo Award winning, science fiction young adult novel and will be released in theaters on November 1st, 2013. Summit Entertainment is co-financing the film which Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolderine) will direct and screenwriting/producing duo Bob Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Cowboys and Aliens) are attached as producers through their K/O Paper Products banner, along with Odd Lot Entertainment's Gigi Pritzker and Linda McDonough, author Orson Scott Card and Lynn Hendee.
Asa Butterfield, the star of director Martin Scorsese's widely praised 3D film Hugo will be playing the lead role of Ender Wiggin. Harrison Ford (Cowboys & Aliens) will be Colonel Hyrum Graff, the adult lead in the film and commander of training for the International Fleet military academy in located in space. Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) will play Petra Arkanian, one of Ender's Battle School trainers and eventual confidant. Sir Ben Kingsley, who recently starred with Butterfield in Hugo will play a character who is crucial to Ender's battle training, former Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham. Canadian actor Brendan Meyer will play one of Ender's early antagonists Stilson who he encounters before being shipped off to Battle School. Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin will play Valentine Wiggin, sister to Butterfield's Ender. Aramis Knight (Rendition) will play Ender's youngest recruit Bean, Moises Arias will play Salamander Army Commander Bonzo Madrid, Jimmy "Jax" Pinchak (Let Me In) will be Peter Wiggin, Suraj Parthasarathy will be Alai, Conor Carroll will be Ender's first Battle School nemesis Bernard and Khylin Rhambo has signed on to play Dink Meeker. Viola Davis (the Help) will play a yet to be named military psychologist who oversees the emotional welfare of young trainees. Nonso Anozie (The Grey) will play Sergeant Dap, Stevie Ray Dallimore (Joyful Noise) has been cast as Ender’s father John and Andrea Powell (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2) will play Ender’s mother Theresa.