New ‘Ender’s Game’ Mess Hall Image Brings Us Closer to the Battle Room

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Hailee Steinfeld Asa Butterfield Enders Game New ‘Ender’s Game’ Mess Hall Image Brings Us Closer to the Battle Room

It looks as though Summit is inching its way closer to unveiling the highly-anticipated and perhaps most challenging material of Ender’s Game – the Battle Room scenes. We got our first look at Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s famous sci-fi novel back in December, and while that image gave us a good look at Asa Butterfield’s Ender, Harrison Ford’s Colonel Graff and the Launchies’ dormitory, this new shot is loaded with far more detail pertaining to the crux of the story.

Ender’s Game takes place in the near future after humanity survives an attack by an invading alien race called the Formics. Even though the heroic Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley) led the International Fleet to victory, the fear that the Formics will return remains, so the IF created a place called Battle School to train the most promising children to defend Earth. That’s where Ender Wiggins comes in.

Ender is handpicked to leave his family, travel to space and enroll in Battle School, where one of the main components of the curriculum is the game in the Battle Room. Think laser tag, but in zero gravity and with much higher stakes. Students are sorted into armies and, in the image above, it’s revealed that Ender eventually finds himself in Salamander Army with Hailee Steinfeld’s Petra Arkanian.

Harrison Ford Asa Butterfield Enders Game1 New ‘Ender’s Game’ Mess Hall Image Brings Us Closer to the Battle Room

The dormitory is one thing, but this shot of Ender and Petra in the cafeteria is a giant leap closer to the Battle Room. Battle Room gossip and pressure consumes all of Battle School, but the stress of needing to be the best of the best is front and center in the mess hall, courtesy of that scoreboard. The background is a little fuzzy, but it’s easy to make out the Asp and Rat Army logos, the status of their players and the game overall – likely a completed game, as there appears to be members of Rat Army in the mess hall. We also get a look at what seems to be a map of the Battle Room, “stars” and all.

Zooming back out we see a number of key players. There’s Ender and Petra, of course, but then we get our first looks at Khylin Rhambo as Dinker Meeker to Ender’s right and Moises Arias’ Bonzo on the far end of Petra’s side of the table.

Clearly the standout here is the level of detail. Let’s all wash our hands clean of the fact that Beautiful Creatures was silly, sappy YA book-to-film nonsense, and recognize that there is some young adult material out there boasting a far more thoughtful premise with more profound core concepts; Ender’s Game is definitely one of them. Then again, exceptional source material certainly doesn’t necessitate a successful feature – but at this point, at least Ender’s Game seems very promising as far as talent, costumes and production design are concerned.


Ender’s Game opens in U.S. theaters on November 1st, 2013.


Follow Perri on Twitter @PNemiroff.

Follow Perri Nemiroff on Twitter @PNemiroff
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  1. Enders Game is FANTASTIC book, and really the best example of a book that is great for kids and adults. I usually re-read it every couple years. I will say this, even though I am highly skeptical of Gavin Hood, this film has the right look, battle school is just as I imagined.

  2. Cant wait, i absolutely loved the book and am going to go see tye movie once it comes out.

    • Aw…crap. Fail, that was for Jess and not you.

      • It’s cool, you’ll respond to the right person sooner or later. :-)

  3. I loved the books and I’m looking forward to the movie, but did they have to put the first half of the book in the synopsis?

    • Well, it’s good to hear you won’t be buying gas or oil any longer, either, since you are going to stand on principle.

      Since you know…you’re giving money to people that murder gays, Christians, Jews and others who don’t agree with their faith.

      Way to take a stand and poke at the low-hanging fruit, you hypocrite.

  4. I very much would like to go see this in theaters but to be honest I will probably just pirate it to avoid giving Orson Scott Card money. I greatly disagree with some of his personal views on homosexuality and would feel wrong giving him any money. I pirated the books too. Just my own feelings.

    • Well, glad to see it took all of four comments to start the Card-bashing. Also glad to see that enjoying something from someone you officially despise is ok as long as you’re stealing it. I forgot about the whole two wrongs making a right thing…

      • Don’t worry about him. I too, don’t agree with a lot of what Card has said, but I love his books and don’t mind paying for them. I think Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson are off their rockers, but I don’t let that stop me from enjoying their work. Just gotta separate the entertainment part from the person behind it.

    • Seriously?!! You disagree with another person’s views on something so that justifies stealing? And you aren’t just stealing from that person – you steal from totally unrelated people like the publishers, editors, distributors, etc. You’ve got seriously messed up morals yourself and are in no position to be judging Card. Pathetic.

    • Not agreeing with someones views doesn’t justify stealing from them.

    • Geez, I think people should relax. While I’m not going to condone stealing or even defend Jess necessarily, I can understand how someone like this Orson Scott Card guy could make you respond so passionately against him. He clearly uses his pile of money and influence from which to spout his dangerous, extremist bulls-it, I can understand not wanting to add to the pile. Personally I find his comments far more offensive than illegally downloading a movie…

      Having said that, if I did some research I might find that I disagree with a lot of my favourite artists’ views so when it comes to this movie, if the trailer’s compelling I’ll pay my money and check it out.

      • Well said.

        I hate Card’s politics, but I enjoyed the Ender’s Saga books. I need to see the movie before I can judge that. Hopefully it’ll be good.

  5. The plot sounds like a space version of the Hunger Games

    • Hmmm – pretty sure Hunger Games is an overrated, and unoriginal novel. Ender’s Game came out long before “HG” Only reason I’ll watch the Hunger Game’s films is because of Jennifer Lawrence.

      • No, Hunger Games is nothing like Ender’s Game.

    • If you mean Hunger Games as a forced program that children are drafted into, yes. Other than that, the similarities end. Abruptly. Even the ages of the characters are different. Even the concept of the programs are different- HG pits several kids in a death match against each other, while EG forces kids into a school to learn military strategy to make them capable winners in a galactic conflict.

  6. Instory There’s far more at stake in the ender’s franchise. This is also a deeper sf work. Especially the way the sequel broke completely of the original (space opera at the core of the action) and was still awesome (the sequel is more like a xeno social investigation with vastly different character) . The original AND the sequel both got the nebula award. Unprecedented feat as far as I know.

  7. Wow, after hearing some of the comments here, it sounded like Card was a murdering Nazi or something.
    As it turns out, he’s just a religious who just has a different set of views about a controversial subject, and stands behind his faith.
    He thinks marriage should be defined as being between one man and one woman, much like the vast majority of the rest of the country; he’s just more passionate and vocal about it than most people.

    “He clearly uses his pile of money and influence from which to spout his dangerous, extremist bulls-it” sounds like the majority of Hollywood actors, Oprah, Bloomberg, Bill Mahar, Al Franken and numerous other leftist propoganda spewers. A guess turn-about isn’t fair play.

    As far as the books and movie are concerned, my brother and I loved the first 2 books as kids and read them many times. Xenocide was okay, but I quit reading the series after that. I remember that the original books had quite a bit of child violence. I wonder if they’ll include that in the movies; busted heads, broken limbs and a few dead cadets, courtesy of Ender Wiggins. I think it’s very unlikely they’ll include those plot points (especially after the elementary school events this year) which will make the story less intense and remove much of the tone of fatalistic importance of what Battle School is for.
    The movie will problaby be rated-PG. I’ll probably wait for it on video.

    • well said man. the dude just stands behind his religion. I respect that.

      I hope the movie is gritty just like the book. I loved that about the book it was just so rough and violent at parts, and the fact that the protaganists were all children made it all the more interesting. That book is definitely one of my faves of all time, up there with hound of the baskervilles :D

    • They better include the deaths of Stilson and Bonzo >.>

  8. He clearly uses his pile of money and influence from which to spout his dangerous, extremist bulls-it” sounds like the majority of Hollywood actors, Oprah, Bloomberg, Bill Mahar, Al Franken and numerous other leftist propoganda spewers. A guess turn-about isn’t fair play.

  9. This is probably one of my most anticipated films. I loved the novel, and I can’t wait to see this. The cast is amazing, and the visuals look stunning. One thing I’m having trouble with is the “Age’s” of Ender. Are they going to make this into multiple films, or will it only be 1 film? If I remember correctly at the start of the novel he was around 7-9 and towards the end he was 13-15. ????? Also I’d like to see how they work things out in the “Battle Room” Hope it looks natural ;c

    • More than likely if they turn this into a franchise they will have to either place several years between filming to accommodate the change in ages of the characters so that the cast can catch up. More likely is they swap out the actors portraying Ender and his sister, throw a little makeup on Harrison Ford to make him older in Ansible transmissions, and reconstruct the rest of the cast for Speaker of the Dead. Either that, or they turn it into the Shadow saga. But if they do Shadow, they will have to allow time for the cast who remains on Earth to age appropriately, and consistently swap out appearances for Bean to make him look continuously larger.

  10. I’m curious to see a shot of Ender and Stilson.