After more than a decade's worth of stunted starts and partial collapses, a cinematic adaptation of Orson Scott Card's decorated sci-fi novel, Ender's Game is finally ready to begin production. Cameras will start rolling on the project this month in Louisiana, with Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine) directing an overall admirable cast and working from his own adapted screenplay.
The (presumably) last major casting update for Ender's Game has been announced, revealing that lesser-knowns Stevie Ray Dallimore (Far from Heaven, The Messenger) and Andrea Powell (The Gates, the upcoming Breaking Dawn - Part 2) have been cast as the title character's parents. Meanwhile, increasingly-popular character actor Nonso Anozie has signed for a more significant part in the film.
Anozie is a Londoner who most recently appeared onscreen aside Liam Neeson in The Grey, though he's also played memorable minor parts in other recent titles ranging from artsy period fare (Atonement) to pulpy crime thrillers (RocknRolla) and bigger-budgeted material (Conan the Barbarian). The actor will next be returning to an ancient fantasy world setting onscreen, when he portrays Xaro Xhoan Daxos in the season two premiere of HBO's Game of Thrones.
Deadline says that Anozie will appear in Ender's Game as Sergeant Dap, one of the military heads who oversees the training of children at the futuristic Battle School. In accordance with the wishes of Colonel Hyram Graff (Harrison Ford), Dap does not interfere when the success of cadet Andrew "Ender" Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) invokes the rage of fellow student Bonzo (Moises Arias) - an event which ultimately pushes Ender further along his dark journey towards becoming an effective strategist and cunning warrior for humankind.
Despite the stop-and-go nature of the Ender's Game movie since the early 2000s, it may prove for the best that the film has taken this long to materialize. After all, back when David Benioff and D.B. Weiss - well before they created the Game of Thrones TV series - were working with Troy director Wolfgang Peterson on a script for the project, the tentative plan was (reportedly) for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace's Jake Lloyd to portray the film's protagonist.
Jump ahead to the present and that challenging role has received a major actor upgrade in the form of Hugo's Butterfield, along with a supporting cast that includes Oscar-nominated (and winning) talent such as Viola Davis, Ben Kingsley, and Hailee Steinfeld. There have also been serious advances in digital filmmaking tools over the years, which will allow for a more convincing portrayal of the advanced technology in Ender's Game. The Battle School's zero-gravity combat simulations will likely be something to behold.
Ender's Game is set to hit theaters in the U.S. on March 15th, 2013.