?When Orson Scott Card’s influential novel Ender’s Game was published in 1985, Harrison Ford was coming out of the Star Wars trilogy and the first two Indiana Jones films. Twenty-six years later, Ender’s Game is finally on its way to becoming a film, and Ford’s now part of it.
Ford’s playing Col. Hyram Graff, an officer who schemes to turn a troubled young genius named Ender into humanity’s best weapon in a war against insectile aliens. Much of the book is focused on Ender’s conflicts in the military’s battle school, while Graff manipulates children and murmurs exposition behind the scenes. The film’s following a similar focus, as most of the roles involve younger actors: Ender’s played by Asa Butterfield, with True Grit‘s Hailee Steinfeld as his battle-school classmate Petra, Abigail Breslin as his supportive sister Valentine, and Let Me In‘s Jimmy “Jax” Pinchak as his asshole brother Peter. The only other major adult role cast so far goes to Ben Kingsley as Ender’s mentor Mazer Rackham. Both Kingsley and Ford have spent recent years in roles of less than prestigious bearing, and Ender’s Game might be an improvement on Firewall and The Love Guru.
We don’t yet know just how close Ender’s Game will hew to Card’s original novel, though it’s based on a script by Card himself. If I may editorialize, I hope that director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) pulls a Starship Troopers and makes a complete mockery of the story. Setting aside Card’s oft-reviled political opinions, Ender’s Game is the sort of book I loved at 13 and detested at 23: a preachy, unconvincing yarn that presents a few interesting ideas with all the grace and wit of a superhero power fantasy for bullied middle-schoolers. But I doubt we’ll get a satire when the film arrives in 2013.(Via Variety)