According to Variety Asa Butterfield, who can currently be seen in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo, has signed on to play the lead role in Ender’s Game which will be directed by Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine).
Ender’s Game is an adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel and is set in Earth’s future, where an imperiled humankind have barely survived two conflicts with the Formics (an insectoid alien species also known as the “Buggers”). These aliens show an ant-like group behavior, and are very protective of their leader, much like Earth ants protecting their queen.
In preparation for an anticipated third invasion, an international fleet maintains a school to find and train future fleet commanders. The world’s most talented children, including the novel’s protagonist, Ender Wiggin, are taken at a very young age to a training center known as the Battle School. There, teachers train them in the arts of war through increasingly difficult games including ones undertaken in zero gravity in the Battle Room where Ender’s tactical genius is revealed.
With the young lead cast the producers are said to be looking for an established actor to play Colonel Hyrum Graff, who is in charge of the Battle School. Talks with Viggo Mortensen apparently didn’t work out, so other actors such as Harrison Ford are being discussed. Wikipedia states the character “is often portrayed rather coldly” in the book but “the reader does see Graff’s struggle with what is moral and amoral in his quest to shape Ender’s life” and “while Ender sees him as a harsh manipulater” Graff shows “affection for Ender which can be seen at several points throughout the story.” I could see Ford working out quite well if he takes the role.
Summit Entertainment has set a March 15, 2013 release date for Ender’s Game and it is being produced by Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman (Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Star Trek).