‘True Grit’s’ Hailee Steinfeld In Talks To Join ‘Ender’s Game’

Published 3 years ago by , Updated August 2nd, 2013 at 8:56 am,

Following her Academy Award-nominated turn as Mattie Ross in the Coen Brothers’ True Grit, Hailee Steinfeld was favored by many fans to portray Katniss Everdeen in the film adaptation of The Hunger Games. While that casting didn’t come to fruition, it looks like the teen actress could portray the female lead in another noteworthy sci-fi literary adaptation: writer/director Gavin Hood’s cinematic take on Orson Scott Card’s popular novel, Ender’s Game.

Steinfeld has reportedly begun negotiations to sign on for Ender’s Game, which just recently secured Asa Butterfield (Hugo) to portray its young protagonist. The search is currently on to also fill one of the movie’s pivotal adult roles, with Harrison Ford rumored to be the filmmakers’ top choice.

Here is Summit Entertainment’s official logline for 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.

Variety says that Steinfeld is up to play the character Petra Arkanian. In Ender’s Game, Petra is one of the rare female students at the Battle School (where adolescents are trained for combat against the Formics, or “Buggers”) and sees a kindred spirit in Ender – who, like she, is physically-small but brilliant and often aggressive. The tomboyish Petra becomes somewhat of a sister figure to Ender, but remains focused foremost on her training, preparing/serving as a soldier for humankind.

That description alone stirs up memories of Steinfeld’s performance as Mattie in True Grit, which certainly suggests she should more than suffice as Petra. While the young actress is also set to play a more traditionally-feminine character in a new screen adaptation of Romeo and Juliet, the Ender’s Game role is one that many of her fans will be intrigued to see her tackle.

true grit hailee steinfeld True Grits Hailee Steinfeld In Talks To Join Enders Game

Hailee Steinfeld in ‘True Grit’

Between the involvement of Butterfield and Steinfeld, the young (central) players in Ender’s Game are already shaping up to be engaging and richly layered. Both young actors look youthful enough for their respective parts; more importantly, they’ve already demonstrated a knack for effectively portraying characters with darker aspects to their personalities. That’s important, considering that Ender’s Game at times unfolds like Lord of the Flies in a futuristic sci-fi setting.

While Card’s original novel does lend itself to an R-Rated adaptation (if only because it features heavy amounts of underage nudity), Hood will likely end up delivering a “Hard PG-13″ cinematic version of Ender’s Game. Even so, in an age where thematically-morbid entertainment is more commonplace, that doesn’t mean the film cannot still pack a pretty strong punch – both viscerally and on an emotional level.

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

Source: Variety

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  1. Perfect!!

  2. Formic race? Are these suppose to be ant-like creatures?

    Sounds like a movie I need to put on my radar.

    • Yeah, the Formics are described as being very insect-like – not only in terms of their appearance, but also because they very much have a “hive mind” mentality.

    • Please, forget putting the movie on your radar until you’ve read the book. While I love what Gavin Hood seems to be developing here, if you haven’t read the original book, you’re missing one of the top 10 books of the last 25, oops, 26 years. Most militaries including the USMC has it as required reading. The reason it hasn’t been made into a movie before is it’s incredible hard to adapt. I have no doubt Gavin will do a great job .. but he will have to cut out so much just to get it onto the screen. Even the Author, Orson Scott Card, says its been optioned for almost 20 years and no one could make it work. So, please, pick up a copy of the original book. It has multiple sequels .. and parallel novels that are excellent but Ender’s Game is up there with Dune, 2001, Neuromancer, The Foundation series, StarshipTroopers, etc. Well worth the time to read, the characters will blow you away.

      • I agree! Great book!

      • I completely agree with your assessment of Ender’s Game being one of the greatest SF novels in recent history.

        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….

  3. Harrison needs to be focusing on the next Indiana Jones movie. Forget this one.

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