First Photo from the Ender’s Game Movie

Entertainment Weekly has released the first still from the Ender’s Game movie!

Ender's Game Movie still. Asa Butterfield Harrison Ford Colonel Graff Ender

In the photo above, we get a first glimpse of Hugo’s Asa Butterfield (right) as Ender, standing in line with other new recruits (a.k.a. “Launchies”) early on at his time in the Battle School. He’s facing off with the imposing Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) over whether his emails to home are being blocked. It’s telling that the two characters are clashing over communication, since they’ve got major communication issues with each other. In the novel, Ender could never be sure whether Graff was manipulating him, or whether he simply saw great potential in him and wanted to foster it.

The article also goes on to describe the relationship between Ford and Butterfield during filming, as well as Asa rising up to the challenges of the role:

The actors tried to mirror their characters’ emotions. “The relationship between [Harrison] and Asa was very close,” explains Hood, “but he didn’t overly befriend him off the set. He helped Asa by allowing that slight sense of intimidation to be there.” Getting intimidated by Indiana Jones himself? Sounds like a cinch! What was harder for the cast of children (Check out the full cast gallery) was filming the movie while going to school. “The kids have to attend school for at least three hours of class every day, plus do homework, so you can only shoot with someone like Asa for five hours of your day,” says Hood. “There was no time for fooling about or not knowing your lines or being unprepared.”

To everyone’s delight, Butterfield (along with every child actor) proved himself a true professional. “Asa being prepared meant that we could focus on the scenes, and these are complicated scenes for a young actor,” says Hood.

Check out the full article here!

Don’t forget to ‘Like’ the Ender’s Game movie official Facebook page.

How does the first still look to you? Are you even more excited about the movie? Are there any concerns about the look of the actors or the set? Let us know in the comments!

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VIDEO: Fan Made Ender’s Game Movie Trailer

Check out this fan-made trailer for the Ender’s Game movie.

What do you think?  It has some interesting elements in it that, including a seemingly older Ender Wiggin, but it’s still pretty nicely done, portraying Ender’s Game as a really cool sci-fi action film.

More Ender’s Game Questions Answered!

Today on the Ender’s Game production blog, more questions were answered regarding the film. And a new image was released, as well!

Ccspatriot35 asks:

How militaristic will the environment be?  Will we be seeing the children treated like the soldiers they are meant to portray?  For all intents and purposes they are in boot camp for most of their adolescence.  Will we see the characters being broken down?

Funny you should ask.  We had a great visit with some online press who visited the set, and they got to talk to our actors.  Without giving too much away, they told great stories of not only going to Space Camp, but also having to undergo a form of boot camp with a no nonsense instructor who taught them how to march properly in unison and much more.  And when they screwed up they were ordered to do push ups!  They got in shape trust me.  It’s painful for my self image to see so many young kids with six pack abs.  Maybe I should go to boot camp next.

DavidB asks:

How is the film team approaching the great deal of wonderful internal monologue?  Voice-overs rarely translate well to the visual medium of film, so just wondering what types of mechanisms will be considered to convey the “important stuff” inside Ender’s head?

We have a muppet of the Colonel who narrates the whole thing from the future.  Oh, no wait, different movie.  I joke because that is a great question and I think Gavin would tell you that it was the biggest challenge he faced in composing his script.  It was also the most challenging aspect of the casting process.  So here we have two things that really make it happen.  First, we got such an unbelievable group of actors who can convey so much with their faces and body language… frankly, with their performances, which is something a book is denied using to convey inner emotion or thought.

And secondly, of course, Gavin elegantly translated some of the inner thought into action or character decisions in his script — drama — and that allowed him to find natural places for the characters to speak about what they are going through.

Joey Oliver asks:

How much of Bean’s story will we be hearing about?

Bean who?  Oh, Bean!  You should know how much Orson Scott Card advocated for as much Bean as we could muster, and really encouraged ways to make him pivotal.  You’ll decide if we succeeded!  I think we did. And we’re even more excited for you all to experience Aramis Knight’s fantastic portrayal of Bean.

Katrina asks:

How has the book been adapted to script to work with the ages of the actors?

Time has been compressed impressionistically.  Though we don’t specify how much time has passed, leaving it somewhat up to your imagination, it is clear that the time span is not as long as the book’s.

Sarah Pezzat asks:

Is it still about using empathy as a weapon?

One of the great themes that is explored, in more ways than one, is how empathy can be seen as a weakness or a strength. How understanding an enemy makes you also understand their weaknesses.  And even how withholding empathy can also be a weapon.  The fact that the audience is going to want nothing more than for commanders to show these young people warmth and understanding, but that it has to be weighed against the fear of it being not in the young soldiers best interests in order for them to do what they have to do, makes for fascinating stuff.

What are your thoughts? Are you excited? The fact that the production team is keeping the fans in the loop is such a wonderful thing. We’re so grateful.

Fan-made ‘Ender’s Game’ trailer

What do you guys think? I really like the audio effects. The fact that people are making trailers is getting me so excited for the actual release of the movie next year. Can’t wait until the real trailers start hitting the screen!

Ender’s Game Questions Answered

Today, some questions about the film were answered on the official Ender’s Game production blog. Here are the answers:

Valentine asks:

As fans of the book, what is your favorite scene from the book? Do you have a different favorite scene from the movie?

I always loved the scenes within the Mind Game that Ender believes he plays for recreation in the orbiting battle school.  Part video game, part psychological test, and if you know the book, part something extraordinary that shouldn’t be given away for those who have not read the book.  As for my favorite scene from the movie, we are still filming it so I haven’t seen it yet!

Reuben asks:

Question to Mr. Orci — How has this production differed from past (and other current) projects? I’m especially interested to know how you feel about the cast’s interactions and your feelings about the script, now that you see it ‘in action’.

Let’s see.  Well first, though I have had some experience with bringing beloved stories to the screen that had intelligent and rabid fan bases like MISSION IMPOSSIBLE 3, TRANSFORMERS, and STAR TREK, this is the first movie with a pre-existing fan base I have worked on that I didn’t write.  This means I that got the chance to evaluate the material merely as a fan.  Gavin’s script made me jealous, but it was also a relief that he had satisfied what I would want as a fan from a difficult adaptation.  Also, I have never worked with so many talented young actors who became friends so fast under such amazing circumstances.  Seeing Asa, who plays Ender, and Hailee, who plays Petra, floating high above the set and getting the giggles was amazing and frightening all at once.  They laughed for like twenty minutes, which as a producer on a clock eager to finish your shooting day can give you a heart attack.  But soon we all had the giggles, and the joy of it overcame the panic.

Chris Neumann asks:

What are the visual influences for the movie? Syd Mead or Star Trek? 2001 or Armageddon? Jon Berkey or Michael Bay?

Visual influences?  One thing I can tell you is that Gavin Hood is a gigantic Stanley Kubrick fan, and it shows.  And yet, in some of the Zero G battles, things are going on that Kubrick never had a chance to tackle.  The technology and advancements in film making available to us allowed us to realize a vision that is totally unique and modern while also being, as Harrison Ford calls it, one of the most emotional science fiction movies he has ever seen.

William Harley asks:

How much time is going to be spent on developing Graff’s relationship with Ender? To me, those insights into the command level of the school really brought out the meaning of leadership and how to tackle the challenges that come up.

The relationship between Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and Ender (Asa Butterfield) is key to the movie’s success.  Graff would love nothing more than to be Ender’s friend, yet Graff can’t always show it because he has to make it clear to Ender that in the event of another alien invasion, there will be no one available to help him.  Their relationship is simultenously heartbreaking and fun.

Paul2012 asks:

Is it a movie for adults, about kids, or a kids movie? I hope for the former.

Like the book, the movie Ender’s Game is about young protagonists dealing with one of the most adult situations known to man: WAR.  We don’t soft peddle it, yet we don’t shy away from the fun of being in space and learning amazing new skills that we would all want to learn at any age.

As we know, many scenes in the movie aren’t in the book. As OSC said when he visited the set:

The scene does not come from the book – very few of the scenes in this movie do – so it was amusing when others asked me how it felt to have my book brought to life. My book was already alive in the mind of every reader. This is writer-director Gavin Hood’s movie, so they were his words, and it was his scene.

So, of course, we’ll have favorite movie scenes and favorite book scenes. This is actually really exciting, I love book to film adaptations that change it up a bit. I’m also really excited to see how Graff and Ender’s relationship is shown. Harrison Ford is one of my favorites, so I’m already stoked as it is. I completely agree with what was written above, though. I can see why Graff and Ender’s relationship is key to the movie’s success. I really hope they capture that feeling of complete forced independence that Ender has in the book. I think that’s part of what makes him such a strong character. And the way Graff has to treat him contributes to this greatly.

What are your thoughts so far?

New photo straight from Battle School!

Ender’s Game Blog:

You think your school was clique-ish?  In Battle School, you are part of an army, each represented by its own iconic symbol.  Lately, Dragon Army has come to be known as a repository of misfits and failures.  As a member of this unit, you’re supposed to live, breathe (fire?) and fight as one cohesive and selfless unit.  Success as one.  Defeat as one.  Unfortunately for Dragon Army, their reputation is the latter.

Ender will be tasked with restoring this tarnished symbol.  Will they follow him?

Excuse me, but I’m going crazy! I’m actually kind of getting chills just thinking about the movie! Ah! I haven’t really given it much thought, but now that I am….I’ve realized something. This film is going to be so INTENSE!

GO DRAGON ARMY!

Ender’s Game Tumblr Blog

Looks like the marketing behind the Ender’s Game movie is starting up.  The movie release date is slightly less than a year away, and for us fans, that’s quite a while to wait.  But considering the enormity of this book, it will need every second it can get to make this movie successfully entertaining and thought-provoking.  Right now we can only wait and see, and one of those ways is through Tumblr.

The people behind Ender’s Game have created a Tumblr Blog for us to follow up on the production of this movie.  Hopefully it’s only the beginning of a huge following.  They’ve only posted one thing so far.  I’m not sure how often they plan on updating us on here, and I’m thinking it will be slow going at first.

Click image to go to Ender's Tumblr

For now, we’ll just have to drool over the picture of a studio chair with the name “Ender” on it.

I’m cautiously excited about this film, but it’s too soon to tell how things are going.  I know Asa, who will be playing the lead role, is a big fan of the books, so hopefully he can help do the book justice.

For more info about it, go to FirstShowing.net