The long awaited Ender’s Game movie adaptation is finally on its way this year which of course means an appearance at SDCC ’13 is inevitable. Well, the great folks at Collider were able to attend the Comic-Con 2013 Ender’s Game panel at this year’s event and managed to offer some juicy details of the program. There is a lot to cover, so we’re going to focus on the highlights of the panel.
The authors indicated that the panel began with what seemed as the new trailer for the movie which they explain as followed:
“I’m not going to go through it beat-by-beat because it was rapid-fire, but the focus was on the epic battles between the International Fleet and the alien “buggers”. The effects look great, although I’m a little more curious about how Hood’s going to handle the null-gravity battle room since that’s a unique aspect to the story. We only saw a bit of that, but what we saw looked good. As for any narrative aspects, it’s mostly Colonel Graff (Ford) growling about how Ender (Butterfield) is Earth’s last hope even though he may not be ready for the weight of war.”
They then bring up various discussions with the panel including screenwriter Roberto Orci who explains that he wanted to make sure that the adaptation reflected why the book has been popular for so many years.
Gavin also expressed the dedication he and Butterfield had making their vision of Ender come to life, followed by Haley Steinfeild who talked about the intense three week training of space camp, boot camp, and other intense programs to help prepare for the role.
Then the convo switched to Harrison Ford who discussed the nature of his character’s role with Ender and the morality of the tale:
“When Hardwicke asks Ford about being Ender’s “mentor”, Ford replies that Graff isn’t Ender’s mentor, but “Ender’s manipulator.” Ford then joked, “I’m never coming back in response to Hardwicke’s previous assumption regarding Graff and Ender’s relationship. Ford goes on to say that he was interested by the moral questions especially as they relate to the military. He made the insightful point that the book envisioned what is now an every day reality in terms of being able to control war completely removed from the battlefield vis-à-vis our reliance on combat drones. There’s also the complexity of manipulating young people to do this kind of fighting.”
Director Gavin Hood then talked about the two things he liked most about adapting the novel:
First, he loved the environment, especially the battle room, so there’s the visual idea. But he also loved the heart of the book because it’s not a simple story of good and evil. He added that he also liked how the characters wrestle with their morality, and he was glad to have actors who have the talent to convey that.
Hood also made this statement which was greeted by cheers. “Visual effects don’t do it for us unless they’re supported by a great story.”
Then began the Audience Q & A.
When asking about Orson Scott Card’s ant-gay comments, Orci contends by saying, ““A lot of people worked on this movie, and I would hate to see the efforts of all those people’s work thwarted because of those who were a very small percentage.”
On the themes of Ender’s Game, Hood explains they focused on leadership, compassion, tolerance, and identity.
“How do we arrive at the point where we figure out not just how to lead others, but how to lead yourself? If I had one goal, it would be true to the story and the spirit of Ender Wiggin.”
When asking what prop Gavin Hood would like to take home, Hood responded, “Harrison Ford”
When asking Harrison Ford what would be the first words between Han Solo and Indiana Jones on a first encounter with each other, Ford humorously answers, “Hi, how are you?”
When asking Ford if Han Solo would be a good fit for Colonel Graff’s army, Ford jokingly explains, ““I don’t think Han Solo would be good as a soldier in anybody’s army. He’s what we would call now, ‘an independent contractor’.”
I’m interested to see how this film shapes out, especially after the disappointing Wolverine effort by Gavin Hood. Here is hoping that Ender’s Game fans finally get the film they’ve been waiting for.
Ender’s Game will invade theaters November 1st!