‘Hugo’s’ Asa Butterfield Wanted To Play ‘Ender’s Game’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

Now that Summit has officially settled on a release date for the long-in-development cinematic adaptation of the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning sci-fi novel, Ender’s Game, the search is on for an adolescent actor to portray the film’s brilliant (but dangerous) eponymous character: Andrew “Ender” Wiggin.

Several underage actors have reportedly met with the project’s writer/director, Gavin Hood. However, one thespian is already being touted as having all-but-secured the lead role.

Deadline says the boy in question is 14-year-old Asa Butterfield, who headlines Martin Scorsese’s fast-approaching 3D literary adaptation, Hugo. The actor is also well known for his roles in previous films, ranging from funny family-friendly titles like Son of Rambow and Nanny McPhee Returns, to the melancholy Holocaust drama The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and even a small part in Joe Johnston’s The Wolfman remake.

Here is an official description of the Ender’s Game adaptation:

Based on the award-winning, landmark best-seller by Orson Scott Card, on a futuristic earth, only the best and brightest children are recruited by a government desperate to fight back after an alien attack. When young Ender Wiggin emerges as a genius strategist, he suddenly becomes humanity’s last and best hope to destroy the alien Formic race.

Butterfield has demonstrated himself to be a fairly versatile actor, to date, so he seems likes a worthy candidate to take on the role of Ender. The character (in Card’s novel) is pretty much a smorgasbord of unsettling mental elements: he possess the tactical intuition and shrewdness of a veteran soldier, is prone to extreme violent outbursts, has a somewhat unhealthy obsession with his sister (not sexual in nature, though), and finds himself tormented by the thought that he is really just as ruthless as his sadistic brother. It’s a complex role, to say the least.

Considering that, back in the early 2000s, the role of Ender was long rumored to belong to The Phantom Menace‘s Jake Lloyd, fans should just be all the more appreciative that someone like Butterfield is now being eyed for the role.

Enders Game movie Roberto Orci Alex Kurtzman Hugos Asa Butterfield Wanted To Play Enders Game

Artwork from the Marvel Comics’ ‘Ender’s Game’ adaptation

Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek, Fringe) are producing Ender’s Game, which is a very timely tale for this day and age. As Orci has pointed out, much of the “futuristic” technology on display in Card’s novel now actually exists, in some form. The main storyline likewise deals with numerous post-modern themes concerning the effects of technology on our everyday lives and sense of morality. Ender’s Game reads as a mashup of elements from works like (odd though it may sound) Lord of the Flies and Starship Troopers, but the film adaptation has the potential to be much more than the sum of its parts.

Hood can’t really be faulted too much for how X-Men Origins: Wolverine turned out. Plus, his other significant directorial efforts include the Oscar-winning Tsotsi, a gritty crime drama that also concerns troubled and dangerous youths, and Rendition, an overwrought but well-intentioned thriller with political overtones. So, all in all, he is arguably a decent choice to bring Ender’s Game to cinematic life.

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Ender’s Game is schedule to arrive in theaters around the U.S. on March 15th, 2013.

Source: Deadline

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  1. this is my favorite book ever and I am super excited for this movie. my only fear though is that the studio and powers that be are going to make this movie geared more towards children and make it a family movie. I mean this is a super violent and disgusting book…if it were translated 100% to a script it would surely be R rated. I accept that there is pretty much no chance of that happening..and a PG13 is coming. but dont dumb it down to much. this isnt a childrens story even if children are in it. some serious things are addressed and there are some really messed up scenes that need to be included somehow (ender in the bathroom?)…dont mess it up guys.

  2. I don’t remember his performance in “The Wolfman” and unfortunately I haven’t caught anything else he’s been in. Judging from the picture above I’d say they have a strong candidate but what will he look like once the film starts moving through the camera? This project has had one stumbling block after another thrown at it as its struggled to get to the screen. I just wonder if we’ve seen the end of that or if this isn’t just another chapter in the story of a stillborn project…

  3. This adaptation is screeeeaming for Matt Reeves and JJ Abrams. I’m telling you. I’m really nervous with Gavin Hood attached and can’t really shake the feeling that this will look like a ‘straight-to-dvd’ film.

  4. And Ender’s Game is One movie I will NOT see, will NOT rent, will NOT watch on cable if and when it comes out. Orson Scot Card is a raging homophobe that called for the overthrow of the Government should same sex marriage in any form be passed or recognized and I will not give him or his works one red cent.

    • Orson Scott Card believes homosexuality to be immoral. I doubt that he is actually a homophobe. A homophobe is a person who has an irrational fear of homosexuals – not to be confused with a person who believes that homosexuality is immoral. In fact, according to every poll I’ve ever read – the majority of Americans are opposed to legalizing same sex marriage. Do you have any proof that Card is actually a homophobe or do you just like calling people names whenever they disagree with you? Furthermore, this site is for discussing movies – it is not meant as a forum for your political rants. So please try to stay on topic. The article is about the potential actors that may be cast in the movie – it isn’t a place for you to rail against unrelated political positions taken by the author of the source material. IF you have anything substantive to add then please do – if not- then please don’t share.

      • Well said, kdog! I am pleased to see that a movie is being made of “Ender’s game”. If they are true to the story, there will be more people who will love it, too! Truly, it is one of those series of books that will change you, in a good way!

      • Is there any proof that Orson Scott Card is homophobic? Well …

        “The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.” -Orson Scott Card
        “Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage.” -Orson Scott Card
        He’s also a board member of the National Organization for marriage.

        I’ll also leave the definition of homophobia as according to Miriam-Webster’s here for you:

        “An extreme and irrational aversion to homosexuality and homosexual people.”

        So yep, homophobe. =)

        And yes, it is relevant, because by spending money on the movie you’re sending money his way and allowing him to contribute more money to NOM. It’s therefore important that people who are interested in going to see the movie – as people clicking on casting information undoubtedly are – understand what political movements they are supporting by doing so. He has the freedom to support any political organization he wants, of course – but I have the freedom not to give him any money as a result. And I believe I also have a right – indeed, a responsibility – to tell people about this, so that they at least do indeed know what they’re doing when they go see the movie, thanks. =)

        • And by Miriam-Webster’s, I mean Merriam-Webster’s. *facepalm* Sorry, my autocorrect is acting up. xD

  5. I’ve been waiting for an Enders Game movie for 20 years! They better not fudge it up, or completely change the plot/ending to appeal to the kiddies.

  6. No he has to much of a sweet little boy look about him more for a character like the boy in the stripped pajamas in Hugo he looks like he is 10. So no get someone else.

    • I agree!!!!!

    • Well he’s supposed to look like a sweet kid. Remember the book starts with him as 5 years old. Though I am a little annoyed because the book ends when he’s 14. I have the same issue with Percy Jackson.

  7. My favorite movie that he did was the Boy In The Striped Pajamas!!!!

    It is an amazing movie! I really recommend it to people who love history!!!!