‘Ender’s Game’: Asa Butterfield Confirmed, Harrison Ford Wanted

Published 2 years ago by , Updated February 15th, 2014 at 4:25 pm,

The cinematic adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s award-winning 1985 sci-fi novel, Ender’s Game, is at last coming together. X-Men Origins: Wolverine helmer Gavin Hood is writing and directing the flick, which will be produced by the ubiquitous duo of Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Hawaii Five-0, Fringe, Star Trek, etc.).

Asa Butterfield was previously revealed to be the frontrunner to portray Andrew “Ender” Wiggin in the film; now we have confirmation that he has officially landed the role, along with news that a legendary veteran of blockbuster sci-fi fare is among those being eyed to play an important supporting part in the Ender’s Game adaptation.

Variety is reporting that Butterfield has “closed a deal” to star in Ender’s Game and that the project’s producers are now actively looking for a significantly older actor to play the adult Colonel Hyrum Graff. In the original Ender’s Game novel, that character is the Commander of Training at a futuristic military school known as the Battle School: a facility where “gifted” children are trained to combat an invasive insect-like alien force known as the Formics or “Buggers”.

Hyrum Graff is essentially a grizzled veteran warrior and hard-edged father-figure to the students of the Battle Academy, which includes young Ender. Hence why Viggo Mortensen was previously approached to tackle the role – and now, Harrison Ford is said to be the top choice in a group of “veteran thesps” being considered to handle the part.

This particular Ender’s Game role would not only fit Ford like a glove (see: just about every role he’s played over the past decade); the Star Wars/Indiana Jones icon’s involvement would also help to attract the interest of moviegoers who are not at all familiar with Card’s source material. Of course, the trick is getting the actor onboard.

Even if a deal with Ford fails to materialize, though, there are still numerous other elder actors (people like Peter Coyote and Stephen Lang immediately spring to mind) who have the screen presence to easily pull off the role.

Enders Game comic book image Enders Game: Asa Butterfield Confirmed, Harrison Ford Wanted

Artwork from the ‘Ender’s Game’ comic book adaptation

While Butterfield should more than suffice as Ender (see: his turn in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo for proof), it remains to be seen how well Hood can translate the remainder of Card’s novel into film form. The original Ender’s Game storyline is quite dark and often psychologically-disturbing; not to mention, it features some brief (albeit graphic) bits of child-on-child violence and a good deal of underage nudity. Basically, it’s a narrative that lends itself to an R-Rated adaptation, but one that could also be PG-13 and still pack the same punch (if done correctly).

It’s also not fair to judge Hood’s directorial abilities solely by his work on the first Wolverine movie, given that (it’s generally acknowledged) he was only partly responsible for how that lackluster flick turned out. Given that he has also previously helmed gritty crime dramas like A Reasonable Man and the adolescent-centric Oscar-winning film Tsotsi, Hood does have experience handling dark tales about dangerous and troubled youths. That bodes well, as far as his qualifications to handle Ender’s Game go.

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Ender’s Game is scheduled for theatrical release in the U.S. on March 15th, 2013.

Source: Variety

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  1. I dunno about everywhere else but the word “buggers” is kinda funny in the UK. It’s nearly as funny as when Americans talk about their “fanny” – means something completely different to us.

    I might download this book so I can read it before the film comes out. It sounds like it’s going to be fun.

  2. Any director that has to deal with 20th Cent Fox execs meddling with a movie should be given a pass. (ie. Fantastic Four, Wolverine, etc.)

    Wait, by that logic, does that mean Brett Ratner should be given a pass? Never mind, I take it back.

  3. ^Fox also made:

    Rise of The Planet Of The apes
    X Men first Class
    Avatar
    upcoming Prometheus

    might of turned a new leaf

  4. Hyrum Graff is described as kinda fat. And he acts as a bureaucratic administrator in the story, as well as instructor/mentor I don’t think it’s a good fit.

    I think Harrison Ford would be perfect for Mazer Rackhman. He doesn’t show up physically until toward the end but he is a much more intense character that would be cool to see Ford portray. Plus the geek bonus of having “Han Solo” revealed and the legendary Mazer Rackham would be totally sweet.

    As far as Hyrum Graff, I think Ed O’Neil would be cool. He has the look, is the right age and though he normally is known for comedy he can do intense drama as well. He can look hard and gruff, but be warm for the few times required. Especially once compared to the hardcore persona of Rackham later on.

    Love Ender’s Game, hope they don’t screw it up.

  5. For the last 3 decades I have attended numerous SciFi conventions and always cringe when I heard “Ender’s Game Movie” discussions. I realize that I am in a significant minority when I ask “Why?”

    Why does THIS novel need to be made into a movie? What can they possibly do in the 90 minutes the studio is going to allow this movie to run that will NOT have everyone up in arms? I have been hoping against hope and the inevitable drive of the Hollywood machine that my internal vision of this book would not be ground up and spit out. There is not a single director or actor who will complement the depth of the story or the richness of the narrative Card put to paper.

    I would rather the movie not be made, but if it has to be, couldn’t we offer human sacrifices to James Cameron and let him do it “Avatar” style? I mean that story sucked and it still made 2 billion dollars. Imagine the technology with the story of Ender….

  6. Asa would have been great casting, if they had made the film already.
    But he’s on a growth spurt and is going to be too big for the role.

    Can’t see it being a particularly great film anyway, it’s much more suited to a series than to be compressed into a couple of hours.

  7. Read the book..loved it. My grandson’s name is Ender after the book. My daughter and son-in-law loved the book.