Ender’s Game takes place in the future, some 70 years after Earth was attacked for the second time by the Formics or “Buggers,” a race of insect-like aliens; in response, humanity forms the Battle School, a place where young adolescents with the best and brightest tactical minds train for combat in the inevitable third space war against the Buggers. The Battle School student body includes Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) – a troubled, but brilliant, strategist, who may be the key to defeating the enemy once and for all.
The Ender’s Game movie – based on the 1985 novel written by Orson Scott Card – has been spinning its wheels in early development for most of the past decade, but will finally make its way to the big screen this Fall. Today, we have the official trailer, which provides a sneak peek at the blockbuster adaptation’s story and sci-fi elements; in particular, the zero-gravity Battle Rooms, where Ender and his peers learn how to fight an enemy that they do not fully understand.
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Fans of Card’s original book have voiced concern about some of the changes from printed page to cinema – in particular the decision to make the Battle School students young teenagers rather than children – and how that might weaken or negatively impact the ethical question and philosophical themes inherent to the story (though, the practicality of making a movie featuring child actors has to be considered). However, so far, the film adaptation looks to benefit from solid acting choices, be it the youngsters like Butterfield and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) or seasoned actors like Harrison Ford (42) and Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3), playing the hardened warriors who seek to shape Ender into humanity’s savior.
Similarly, writer/director Gavin Hood has spent around four years working on the project, and his passion could pay off with a blockbuster that retains the substance of its source material (while bringing it to life with contemporary visual effects and style). That alone gives us good reason to hope that Hood’s new blockbuster may have more dramatic punch – like his smaller-budgeted foreign-language films In Desert and Wilderness and the Oscar-winning Tsotsi – rather than reek so much of studio interference (in a bad way), like his X-Men Origins: Wolverine.
Ender’s Game opens in U.S. theaters on November 1st, 2013.