Finally, after years of frustrating rumors and conjecture about the embattled movie version of one of the greatest young-adult sci-fi novels ever written, the wheels have begun to turn on the long-awaited screen adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s magnum opus, Ender’s Game.
Now that the movie is set to start pre-production, names have begun to surface on who will be playing the main characters. It has been reported that Harrison Ford is on the short list of actors looking to take the role of Colonel Hyrum Graff, the commander of training for the International Fleet.
Colonel Graff is a surprisingly complex character whose motives are shrouded in mystery and whose methods of training the young geniuses are controversial, to say the least. The book presented a good cop/bad cop personality for Col. Graff, leading him to be one of the more dynamic characters in the epic story.
Of course, this is not set in stone, but just having a short list of potential actors is a step in the right direction, considering the adaptation process has taken more than a decade to reach this point. Ford seems to be a great fit for this particular role with his tough guy exterior and ability to convey moral ambiguity effectively.
On a more concrete note, the role of Ender Wiggin has been confirmed, and will be going to Asa Butterfield, an up-and-coming actor who has been receiving solid early reviews for his starring role in Martin Scorcese’s newest film, Hugo.
Considering that Ender needs to be young, articulate, dark and vulnerable, Butterfield seems to be a good pick. All of these characteristics will need to be on full display in order to succeed in the role of an adolescent boy genius who is torn between his “true” calling in life and the profound love he feels for his sister back on earth.
For those not familiar with the novel, the story revolves around Ender Wiggin, a young genius tasked with saving humanity from the Formics, an alien species that has already tried to take out Earth. It is mainly focused on Ender’s experience at Battle School, a military training program for children believed to have the wherewithal to effectively handle the next “Bugger” invasion.
Ender’s Game was by far the most influential and engrossing book I had the pleasure of reading during my early teenage years, and knowing that the movie version is on its way, is both an exciting and worrisome thought for me. Hollywood has been known to rip the soul out of some of the best books ever written, so the prospect of a director (Gavin Hood) who has not had a great recent track record (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) tackling a very difficult adaptation has me in a state of concern.
But, I will still be rooting for him, and everyone else working on the project, hoping the movie will succeed. Until I see the final product though, I will remain cautiously optimistic.
The film is slated for release in 2013. What do you think? Let us know in the comments.