Both Viola Davis and Octavia Spencer are strong contenders in this year's Oscar's race, having been nominated for their respective roles in Best Picture candidate The Help. The decorated acting duo aren't resting on their laurels, either, and have already lined up new parts in several promising titles on the horizon - including the Ender's Game adaptation and The Host director Joon-ho Bong's English-language directorial debut, Snow Piercer.
Davis is slated to begin work on the long-gestating adaptation of Orson Scott Card's first Ender book, followed by a part in another novel-based project titled Beautiful Creatures. Spencer, meanwhile, will first appear in Diablo Cody's untitled directorial debut (formerly known as Lamb of God) before turning her attention to Snow Piercer.
Ender's Game is a sci-fi work set on a futuristic, semi-Utopian version of Earth, which has unified in the wake of two devastating wars with an alien race known as the Formics. A powerful militaristic organization called the International Fleet recruits "gifted" human children to be trained at Battle School, in preparation for the impending third Formic war. The most brilliant - and dangerous - of these pupils is one Andrew "Ender" Wiggin (Hugo's Asa Butterfield), who may well be the "savior" the people of Earth have been desperately searching for.
Variety reports that Davis is up to appear in Ender's Game as a military psychologist who is responsible for "the emotional welfare" of the Battle School trainees. She's the latest great addition to a rock-solid cast that includes adults actors such as Harrison Ford and Ben Kingsley, along with the likes of Abigail Breslin (Zombieland) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), who are playing pivotal adolescent roles.
Snow Piercer is based on the French graphic novel "Le Transperceneige" and takes place on a post-apocalyptic Earth, which has entered a new Ice Age, following a failed attempt by humanity to reverse the effects of global warming. The only humans alive reside on the titular train - which still functions thanks to a "sacred perpetual-motion engine" - but soon find themselves at odds with one another, over issues of class and social status.
Heat Vision says Spencer will costar in Snow Piercer as a mother desperate to protect her child when a revolt breaks out on the eponymous train. Like Davis, she's also another fine addition to an excellent cast that includes Chris Evans and Jamie Bell, along with Oscar-winner Tilda Swinton (The Chronicles of Narnia) and Oscar-nominee John Hurt (Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy).
While both these projects have potential to be excellent, thought-provoking sci-fi allegories, Snow Piercer has somewhat of an advantage over Ender's Game, with regards to the involved creative talent. The former is being written and directed by Gavin Hood, who was responsible for the Foreign Language Oscar-winner Tsotsi - but he also has to share some blame for X-Men Origins: Wolverine (since he was the director).
Snow Piercer, by comparison, will be helmed by Bong, working from a script he co-wrote with Kelly Masterson (Before the Devil Knows You're Dead). However, as great as his non-English films have been, there's always the chance something will be "lost in translation" when Bong makes the jump to producing Hollywood fare - similar to what many feel happened when Kar Wai Wong made My Blueberry Nights.
That said - here's to hoping that both Ender's Game and Snow Piercer turn out well.
Ender's Game is scheduled for a U.S. theatrical release starting March 15th, 2013.
Snow Piercer should also hit theaters sometime in 2013.
Source: Variety, THR