Ender's Game gets a movie deal

Discussion in 'Movies' started by mattCR, Apr 28, 2011.

  1. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    http://www.deadline.com/2011/04/franchise-hungry-summit-plays-enders-game-with-filmmaker-gavin-hood/#comment-829546

    I am both excited and worried. Done well this could be fantastic. Make Ender any older then about ten and this becomes a disaster. Finding a kid who can act as Ender at about 10 who can be seen doing things like Killing Stiltson and Bonzo while remaining our hero.. that will be a hell of a trick.
     
  2. Don Solosan

    Don Solosan Supporting Actor

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    This has been in development in one place or another for years. Best not to get your hopes up.
     
  3. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Well, looks like it's actually going forward, with Asa Butterfield (from Hugo) cast as Ender (great choice, IMO). Release date is March 15, 2013.

    http://www.variety.com/article/VR1118046778?categoryid=13&cs=1&cmpid=RSS

    Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) in discussions to play Petra. http://www.movieweb.com/news/enders-game-eyeing-hailee-steinfeld
     
  4. spshultz

    spshultz Second Unit

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    I will definitely be looking forward to this movie.
    Oh and just let me add the obligatory "please, please don't let them screw this up" statement.
     
  5. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    Agreed.. and they have to film soon. Most important is going to be who becomes Graff and Bean (In My Mind).. but it's going to be crucial to get shooting done in a hurry; Ender is supposed to be 10. Having him a teenager would be.. bad. This also means the pressure is going to be up to tender this down. It's very hard to tell Ender's Game without it being a hard-R. I don't know how you soften things like Stiltson & Bonzo's deaths..
     
  6. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Card has stated that among the cutdowns: "Much has to be cut - including all of Peter's and Valentine's online exploits, the mind game, and much of the incidental material before Ender gets into Bonzo's army." http://geektyrant.com/news/2011/10/21/enders-game-movie-details-orson-scott-cards-response-to-geek.html

    It will be interesting to see how they convey the communication Ender received via the mind game without it being in the film.

    As for the kids' ages: Just gotta accept that they'll be portrayed as a little older. Butterfield will be 15 when shooting, but looks 13-ish. The Potter kids pulled off playing a couple years younger than they were when the films went on the 18 month turnaround schedule, so I don't think it's that big of a deal.

    It's also obvious that they'll get a younger actor for the younger Ender pre-Battle School, if needed.

    As far as Stiltson & Bonzo's confrontations with Ender - we'll see how The Hunger Games handles the whole kid on kid violence in a PG-13 movie (though they got actors in their early 20s to play high school aged teens, so it's a bit different).
     
  7. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    Lots of casting news from Variety:
    Harrison Ford has officially signed on to play Colonel Hyram Graff.
    Abigail Breslin has officially signed on to play Valentine Wiggin.
    The "i"s have been dotted and the "t"s have been crossed with Hailee Steinfeld now confirmed for Petra Arkanian.
    Other casting:
    Aramis Knight (Hood's own Rendition) will play Bean.
    Moises Arias ("Hannah Montana") will play Bonzo.
    Jimmy Jax Pinchak (Let Me In) will play Peter Wiggin.
    Suraj Parthasarathy will play Alai.
    Conor Carroll (Away We Go) will play Bernard.
    Khylin Rhambo will play Dink Meeker.
     
  8. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I think the casting may be as good as they can get. They just have to quickly get to the filming stage. The casting of Alai and Val is very good. If the script is good gets the feeling of the book, this could be fantastic.
     
  9. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    I really hope Orson Scott Card's recent freefall into foaming, rabid batshit-dementia doesn't permeate this flick.
     
  10. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    My biggest fear is the director. The only movie I've seen from him is X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and that was absolutely terrible.
    :huh: His recent books are still good (except for the Empire books, which got too knee-jerk political) and he's the same arrogant guy with often very unorthodox views he's always been. He's always been an author I've had no trouble separating the man from the work.
     
  11. Brandon Conway

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    Totsi was very good and shows he can work with younger actors. The biggest problem with Wolverine was the story/writing, not the directing, IMO.

    This casting is fantastic. Butterfield, Steinfeld, and Breslin are all top notch young actors. Ford actually fits this role, as Graff is a real hard-nosed driving force for Ender, and Ford if anything, has a presence of stern roughness lately. Contrast that to Kingsley as Mazer the revered and more empathetic father figure/hero, and this may be quite great.
     
  12. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    EW ran a story article on their website I didn't get around to punching into here.. Meet the cast:

    http://www.ew.com/ew/gallery/0,,20577069,00.html#21130758

    Filming is underway right now
     
  13. Dave Upton

    Dave Upton Owner
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    The effects budget should allow for an amazing visual representation of the Battle Room. That's the one part I always imagined would be tough to bring to the big screen - i'm sure everyone has imagined it differently, thankfully if OSC himself is involved - it should be more or less accurate.
     
  14. Chuck Mayer

    Chuck Mayer Lead Actor

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    Fascinating. This had been off of my radar (book and most specifically movie) for some time, though the book was one of my favorites for several years. It seems, like all truly great works of fiction (which it clearly qualifies), it actually gains in relevance as time moves forward. It had been recommended to me when it was placed on the Marine Corps Officer Reading List back in the early 90s (there aren't many science fiction [or even fiction] books on that list, especially at it's inception) and I was a young Midshipman.
    It obviously still retains its relevance and then some. At a work conference this week, the Commander of the U.S. Submarine Force casually discussed the book and story (with spoilers, presuming the majhority of the military or ex-military audience had read it, but without explanation), mentioning that the key conceit of blurring the line between training and actual warfighting is closer to reality (and desired) than you can imagine. Of interest was the ease at which is was discussed by senior military leaders. So it clearly has full market penetration.
    The other key relevance for the book is the bullying theme, germane to Ender's development and the society that watches it.
    Anyways, from the recesses of my memory, to a double reminder this week.
     
  15. joshEH

    joshEH Producer

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    Any Nick Stahl in this one?
     
  16. Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Executive Producer

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    That's good to hear. Hood was writer/director on "Totsi", as he is on this.
    My problem with "Wolverine" was fundamental; none of the pieces seemed to fit together into a cohesive whole. I spent half the picture staring at the screen asking myself, "Why are they showing me this?"
    On the other hand, Card presumably signed off on the screenplay and Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci are the on-set creative producers. Most of what they've worked on isn't high art, but everything I've seen from them has entertained me. (I haven't seen the Transformer sequels. Orci's blogging the movie from the set, and he's sharing some interesting tidbits. The visual reference for the Battle School is 2001, rather than something more designed and fantastical.
    I agree with you on the cast, which is just pitch perfect. As good as the adult actors are, the young cast is just out of the park. Everything rests on Asa Butterfield's shoulders, and "Hugo" proved he could handle the strain. Abigail Breslin and Hailee Steinfeld have both carried films in their own right, and they're perfectly suited to pretty hefty roles. Steinfeld's Filipino-Semitic ancestry can pass as Armenian, especially if they dye her hair jet black. More importantly, she's both very tall and young looking; her height will help sell Butterfield's youth as Ender.
    If the cast weren't so fantastic, I don't think I'd be so nervous about it; it's the very fact that an Ender's Game adaptation will never get a cast this good again that has me praying they hit it out of the park.
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    I didn't even recognize Abigail Breslin in that photo of her on the EW site. But the casting does seem to look pretty solid from the line-up of photos.
     
  18. mattCR

    mattCR Executive Producer
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    I think what Hunger Games and a few other book to film adaptations have shown is that involvement of the original author can lend a film a lot more credibility with the audience that loves the book; and in the case of Ender's Game, that's a HUGE audience. I'm just keeping my fingers crossed this all turns out
     
  19. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    And hopefully Card understands that a literal re-creation of a book is not always the best approach. This could be quite a fun movie.
     
  20. Brandon Conway

    Brandon Conway captveg

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    Card was on the set recently. Here's the link: http://greensboro.rhinotimes.com/Articles-Columns-c-2012-05-16-211898.112113-Avengers-and-On-the-Set-of-Enders-Game.html

    First half of his thoughts are about The Avengers, while the set visit is highlighted in the second half.
     

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