Ender's Game casting news continues to filter out, and today we get some of the biggest news yet. Harrison Ford, long sought to join Gavin Hood's (Wolverine) sci-fi epic, based on Orson Scott Card's series of novels of the same name, has officially signed on, and Abigail Breslin (New Year's Eve) will also join the cast as Valentine Wiggin, the titular protagonist's older sister.
The Hugo and Nebula Award winning YA novels tell the story of an Earth that has been united after being attacked by an alien race. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), is a child genius and one of many child soldiers in training, who must save the world from the malevolent aliens dubbed "buggers".
Ford joins a prestigious cast that includes Academy Award-winners Ben Kingsley (Gandhi) and director Hood (Tsotsi), Oscar nominee Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) and the impressive Asa Butterfield (Hugo). Ford will play Colonel Hyram Graff, who's in charge of training the young male recruits at an elite military academy dedicated to defeating the alien forces bent on human destruction. Steinfeld will play Petra Arkanian, Ender's ally and trusted right hand.
For a more in depth rundown of the cast, see the listing of the other characters that have been cast so far:
- Asa Butterfild ... Ender Wiggin
- Sir Ben Kingsley ... Mazer Rackham
- Haileee Steinfeld ... Petra Arkanian
- Harrison Ford ... Colonel Hyram Graff
- Abigail Breslin ... Valentine Wiggin
- Brendan Meyer ... Stilson
- Aramis Knight ... Bean
- Moises Arias ... Bonzo
- Jimmy "Jax" Pinchak ... Peter Wiggin
- Suraj Parthasarathy ... Alai
- Conor Carroll ... Bernard
- Khylin Rhambo ... Dink
Ford's last two films, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and "Cowboys & Aliens, both had extraterrestrial overtones (for better or worse) but based on the awesome source material, we can hold out hope that Ender's Game has a better chance of satisfying audiences. Besides, Han Solo gets the benefit of the doubt when it comes to sci-fi, right?
Ender's Game is slated to blast off March 15, 2013.