‘Ender’s Game’ Trailer Preview – Teens Play Zero-Gravity War Games

Published 2 years ago by

Ender’s Game, for those not familiar, is based on the landmark, award-winning, science-fiction novel, as written by controversial author Orson Scott Card in 1985. The premise is that Earth has been twice invaded by a giant insect-like race called the Formics (a.k.a. “Buggers”), which has inspired the nations of the world to band together and form an international space military academy.

There, the world’s most intellectually-gifted young teens – a change from Card’s source novel, where the Battle School trainees are children – participate in war games (which take place in zero-gravity Battle Rooms), in order to prepare for the impending third Formic invasion of Earth. Andrew ‘Ender’ Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) is perhaps the most brilliant and dangerous of those students – but is he capable of defeating the hive-minded extraterrestrial enemies at the gate?

Today, we can offer a preview for the full Ender’s Game trailer (which arrives next week), featuring an introduction by Butterfield (Hugo) and his costar Harrison Ford (42). The footage therein provides an early look at the Battle School, in addition to the physical layout and mechanics of the Battle Room; it concludes with a shot of Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3), covered with facial tattoos as Mazer Rackham, who is a veteran warrior from a previous Formic invasion (sorry Ender’s Game book fans, we know his appearance is a bit of a spoiler).

enders game movie trailer preview Enders Game Trailer Preview   Teens Play Zero Gravity War Games

Battle School trainees in ‘Ender’s Game’

Card, nowadays, is mostly controversial for his outspoken views on gay marriage, as opposed to for writing Ender’s Game; though, back when the book was originally published, it attracted criticism due to Card’s portrayal (or, rather, alleged moral justification) of violence committed by Ender, which even includes that against his fellow students.

Nowadays, when people hear what the story is about, they seem to often assume it’s just derivative of books-turned movies like Starship Troopers and The Hunger Games; as opposed to, a not-so-secret allegory for the life of Adolf Hitler. It’s for that reason, among others, that it will be interesting to see how writer/director Gavin Hood – as well as the producers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek Into Darkness) – have chosen to approach the source material.

Hood, in the past, has made movies featuring protagonists with violent tendencies, but the results have varied from the more personal South African crime-drama Tsotsi – which is a Foreign Language Oscar-winning tale about a young gang leader – to the impersonal blockbuster that is X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Maybe Ender’s Game will be the best of both worlds – ?


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

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  1. Looks good so far, but of course about 5 seconds of teaser isn’t much to judge the movie off of. I just hope that this comment section can stay focused on the movie or at least the book and leave tangential social movements alone. Not holding out too much hope though – lately I’ve lost a lot of my faith in Screenrant commenters.

  2. It looks visually amazing from what is shown. I’m hoping it really does capture the novel’s spirit.

  3. it does a good job of translating the visuals of the book, it pretty much looks exactly as I imagined. Still there is a high probability that it will suck

    • Unfortunately you’re right. Same director as X-Men Origins Wolverine, that piece of crap. But Gavin Hood isn’t all bad, he’s done some great stuff like Tsotsi.

      • Gavin Hood is not to blame for the mess that is Wolverine. He did not write any of it. He was given the chair to Direct it, but you can hardly say he did that. Xmen Origins was a highly controlled studio mess, where an artist, the director, was held on a very tight leash by the studio funding it. He is not to blame. Totsi was written and directed by him and is praised globally.

  4. The importance of the fact that they are children in the book is a major, major point of the original short story. By not using children, this is just Hunger Games in space.

    • Hunger Games in space? Come on, why do people have to mention that here? Ender’s Game is a thought provoking tale of intergalactic war, military, youths, psychology, and violence with no easy (if any at all) answers. The Hunger Games Trilogy is a simplistic story with obvious villains and themes. It doesn’t challenge its readers’ expectation and mentality at all.

      • I agree with you about the story, but by using teens the origin intent loses the allegory of which the original had intended…by switching to teens, the film, not the novel, plays more to the popular twilight/hunger games crowd…
        That was what my comment was implying…

        • But it really doesn’t. In fact when reading the novel I have always felt that the characters being “kids” was always gimmicky. Since they spoke as adults throughout then entire novel the visual in my mind never naturally went to “it’s child doing this” but to quite frankly “it’s a teen”. I had to frequently remind myself that Ender was a six year old little boy speaking like a man in her late 30′s early 40′s.

          Them being teens will not take away from the story it will lend more natural credibility. Not to mention that an entire cast of kinder gardener’s conveying deep, solemn, and complex characters? No it wasn’t going to happen. Dakato Fannings are a lucky find, children actors like that don’t grow on trees.

        • Unfortunately, marketing to multiple audiences is necessary to recover the cost of the film. I hope that the film is made well enough to appeal both to science fiction fans as well as the “aren’t vampires who sparkle just the cutest” demographic.

    • You mean like they were children in hunger games and no one cared to use children of the right age? (which annoyed the cr*p out of me)

      • Atleast they look like they are in there early teens and not there mid to late teens.

    • I think the key difference tonally between Enders Game and Hunger Games is the very fact that in hunger games, very very few of the children actually have any crisis of conscience about killing, whereas that is the central premise of Ender’s Game.

  5. No I agree these kids in the book where the brightest minds. So they where as removed from childhood that they spoke and acted like adults because that’s all they knew. Having teens play them takes away from the impact that child soldiers have. Think of the kids in Africa. How shocking it is to see a 10 year with a gun knowing he has killed some one. Innocence is lost once you place teens who have lost the glow of childhood into this situation right and wrong are know to them as opposed to kids who are still trying what that all means.

    • ^agreed.

    • I honestly don’t feel that is an issue. the impact withing the context of the movie will remain the same. In fact Orson said that he would not sign the rights away until standards where met which is, that the movie is able to have the same emotional hold on it’s audience the novel has. And pragmatically speaking there is no six year old out there as of now that can hold the amount of depth and conviction needed to make Ender a believable character. Let alone entier cast of 6/7/9.10 year olds. And ender’s game was never about the age anyways, Orson even says this himself, it’s about the moral duplicity of killing what we don’t understand among other themes. Ender’s saga continues after this one novel and he grows up but the impact of his nature and the story remain the same. Deep and provocative.

  6. wow, doing good so far screenrant. i applaud you unlike the mess that became io9′s comments section lol.

  7. Aghhh anyone else annoyed by the fact that Butterfields voice matured so rapidly?

  8. I haven’t seen many Kingsley movies. Didn’t know he was so diminutive. Thought the scene of Tony finding him, was a joke, that they found a midget/dwarf/elf/troll Kingsley lookalike as a decoy!

  9. Its only because todays tech and a culture of holding on to children as long as possible that kids don’t act more mature. There’s a reason God created people with the ability to procreate at 12 and 13 years of age. Children had to grow up quick and carry on the work of their parents and then begin their own families. We are babied today and thats why seeing a movie with 7 or 8 year olds acting adult-like would seem out of place.

  10. One of my favorite sf novel…if they f…. It up I’ll f… Them up!!! Not expecting perfectly faithful adaptation but they’d better not exclude or water down Stilson and bono.. And I don’t care if it’s shocking. That’s the very point of the book to show children acting like soldier in an unforgiving and cruel environment.