Fans of Orson Scott Card’s Hugo Award-winning novel Ender’s Game collectively and cheered and held their breath when it was announced that the book, originally published in 1985, was finally getting a film adaptation. Card had been notoriously protective of the film rights, not wanting Ender to go the way of, say, The Golden Compass or The DaVinci Code, to use a couple more modern examples. Ender’s Game presented a doubly-challenging premise, as its titular protagonist never exceeds the age of twelve and spends much of the book significantly younger.
All this has changed, and audiences now stare excitedly and apprehensively at a November 11 release date. The cast, at minimum, has been a point of encouragement; Harrison Ford and Sir Ben Kingsley headline the adult figures, while Hugo star Asa Butterfield plays Ender and Abigail Breslin (Little Miss Sunshine), Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit), and relative newcomers Aramis Knight and Suraj Partha round out the main characters. The ages of Ender and his compatriots have, mostly out of necessity, been altered upwards a bit for the movie. Slightly more odd is Card’s stamp of approval on writer/director Gavin Hood. Hood’s most recent directoral effort, X-Men Origins: Wolverine was widely panned, though fans may shore up their confidence with the hopes that Ender’s Game will channel the quality Hood displayed in the Oscar-winning Tsotsi, which he also wrote and directed.
For those unfamiliar, much of the story takes place in Battle School, an orbital space station where children are trained as military commanders in zero-G engagements. Empire recently interviewed Ender himself (Butterfield) on what it was like to film these scenes. The young actor was overall very enthusiastic with regard to the extensive wirework, though admitted that the filming days were quite draining. “It was really good fun.” said Butterfield, “But yeah, wearing harnesses for nine hours, by the end of the day you’re glad to get out of them. It’s really tiring staying up there. And the chafing… it’s exactly as you might imagine.”
The full interview can be seen here.