Hope was given anew when a few months ago it was reported that Summit Entertainment had acquired the rights to the 1985 Orson Scott Card novel, ‘Enders Game.’ Although director Gavin Hood’s name has been connected with this project as director since last year, no word about the movie’s progress was ever given…until now. Looks like the studio is ready to start casting the film as casting call sheets obtained by io9 have revealed they are looking for actors to fill 10 major roles.
From the looks of the character’s descriptions, the screenplay (written by the movie’s director Gavin Hood) will not veer too far from the actual book plot. Be forewarned, however, that sometimes scenes and dialog from casting sheets are not indicative of what the actual script will have. Sometimes, the producers and directors use first draft wordings in order to keep the basic premise of the film under wraps and rewrites can occur during filming.
Just in case you haven’t read the book, ‘Ender’s Game’ is set in the Earth’s future where humankind has barely survived two previous attacts form the Formics (an alien insect-like species who are also called Buggers). In preparation of another Bugger invasion, special highly talented children are taken at a young age to train at the Battle School. There the teachers train them in the art of war by having the children go through and increasing difficult games. These games are where Ender’s tactical genius is revealed. How Ender reacts in the games and their effect on him is a main plot point in the book. Several themes such as the brutality of war and the need to know your enemies are explored in the novel.
If you want to see how close the script is to the book then read on and see what the casting directors are looking for. The full descriptions can be found at io9. They do contain spoilers so if you prefer not to know, then this is a good point to stop reading. Although the film is considered still in development, the studios hope to have the movie finished and released sometime in 2013.
Ender Wiggin: Smart and sensitive, but also incredibly ruthless. He’s ten years old; older than in the book but not as old as Hollywood was trying to make him at one point. There are a few scenes where he worries about being like his cut-throat brother Peter, and confides in his sister Valentine. Just like in the book, he dishes out a rough treatment to Bonzo Madrid, his former platoon leader, when Bonzo tries to bully him too much. Ender then feels remorse after the incident. The screenplay also includes some scenes where Ender has weird nightmares about the Buggers and he tries to understand where the buggers are coming from, and what their children are like.
Bean: Bean watching a heavily edited video of Mazer Rackham’s famous victory over the Formics, in which Mazer fires his nuclear warhead into the Formics’ exhaust system. And Bean is so thrilled he throws his hands in the air and shouts with joy — until Ender bursts his bubble, explaining that the video is edited so we don’t see Mazer die. In another scene, Graff shows Bean and Ender to the famous zero-gravity training room, where they float around with a bunch of other kids. Ender explains to Bean that there’s no “up or down” in zero-G, and then they discover their weapons actually freeze anyone they shoot at, by causing the spacesuits to swell up. They team up to go freeze some of the other kids.
Peter Wiggin: Ender’s brother is a full on psychopath instead of a very mean brother. He’s insanely jealous that Ender was chosen for the battle school, and completely enraged when it seems like Ender has washed out of the program. At one point, he locks their sister, Valentine, out of the room and forces Ender to put on a Formic mask so they can play Formics and Astronauts, to give him an excuse to beat Ender up.
Valentine Wiggin: She’s the gentler, sweeter member of the Wiggin family, who’s always there for Ender — except for when the people in charge of the school won’t let Ender communicate with her. She tries to protect Ender from Peter, but mostly fails —and just like in the book, she convinces Ender to return to the school when he tries to drop out after he hurts Bonzo Madrid. She explains to Ender that what makes us human is our brains, and we didn’t evolve those brains so that we can lie around lakes — we evolved them for killing, or else we wouldn’t still be around. We’d have been killed by wild animals. She alone grasps that Ender has to understand his enemy to defeat them, and in understanding the enemy, he grows to love the enemy — right before he destroys it.
Bonzo Madrid: Just like in the book, he’s a swaggering idiot whose platoon has won most of its most recent battles. He resents being saddled with Ender. He orders Ender to stay out of the way during battles and doesn’t let him use his weapon.
Rose the Nose: The commander of Rat Army, where Ender gets traded after he leaves Bonzo’s platoon. Rose has a high opinion of his own leadership skills even though he knows that his platoon leader, Dink, is “God.” Rose has a terrible fear of losing but can’t face the fact that he’s winning thanks to Dink and Ender.
Dink Meeker: Dink is one of the characters who befriends Ender in the Rat Army who tries to help and protect him. He also shows him how to float in the zero-G chamber as a means to relax.
Petra Arkanian: The only girl in Ender’s first “ toon”, she also befriends Ender and tries to protect him. When Bonzo decides to keep Ender out of combat, Petra offers to help him train in their spare time. Later, she and Dink are both in Ender’s Jeesh, and she’s a key part of the final assault on the Bugger planet.
Aila: He’s a gentle Muslim boy who moves Ender with his friendship and his professions of peace.
Mick: A heavyset boy who just wants to make it through this school in one piece and get home and he’s happy to help himself to other people’s desserts.
Now that you have an idea of what the roles are, which Hollywood youngster would you want to see in each part? Let us know in the comments below!