Classic SciFi Novel Ender’s Game Becomes a Movie

By | Posted on 19 April 2012


What kid didn’t grow up wanting to be a super hero or go into space? We all had dreams of great things as a kid and for many, Ender’s Game was an escape from reality to a distant future where remote drone wars, the internet, hand held computer devices and electronic surveillance were a reality. But wait, isn’t that the world we live in today?

Yes it is true that is the reality today, but in 1985 when Ender’s Game was written it wasn’t nearly as prevalent as it is now. Making now the best time for the novel to become a movie. I am playing catch up and just now reading Ender’s Game, much to the shock of some of our fans, but do not despair. I plan to be 100% caught up by the time the movie is released so I can give you a fair look at how well they movie did compared to the book.

70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion.

I don’t have to tell you that with so many books in the ‘Enders Saga’ that this new franchise could give the likes of Harry Potter and The Hunger Games a run for its money. A recent classic made into a movie, John Carter, may have flopped at the box office but it wasn’t because of the content of the story or the translation on screen. It was due to very poor marketing on the part of disney. Hopefully those behind Ender’s Game have learned from this and will do the series right by properly marketing it.

Reading the directors blog you can tell he puts a lot of attention in the details, which is very important in any classic scifi book. Unlike stories of the 2000s, books like Ender’s Game were written in an era that was not nearly in tune with scifi as we are today. Now let me clarify before people chop my head off. In the 70s and 80s, these stories were written for the people who read it and were in awe and shock over the ideas and possibilities the book purposed. With so much new technology at our finger tips, the stories written today are not nearly as awe inspiring or shocking as they were, because we are all use to those ideas now. In that respect, bringing to life a story written on true fiction during a time when technology was still emerging is exciting and hopefully as awe inspiring today as it was.


Filming started in Louisiana this past February and continues through June. The cast is a group of young new faces, familiar faces and hollywood veterans. Taking on the lead role of  Ender Wiggin is Asa Butterfield (Hugo, Merlin). Playing Valentine Wiggin is Abigail Breslin, with Jimmy Pinchak playing his older brother. In the group of veteran actors we have Harrison Ford asColonel Hyrum Graff, Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham and Viola Davis as Major Gwen Anderson. The producers posted some interesting pictures in their blog that give us some insight into the dedication they have to making the movie as real as the book made us all feel. In this post the producers talk about getting the younger kids to understand how zero gravity felt and how you would react in it.

“Houston, we have a problem.  We don’t know how to land the Shuttle.” Good thing it’s just a simulator safely on the ground at SPACE CAMP in Huntsville, Alabama.  Aramis, Moises, Asa & Suraj (pictured above from a monitor in the MISSION CONTROL ROOM ) and the rest of our cast agreed that to do Ender’s Game right, they had to train as though they were really headed into ZERO G.  And this wasn’t just an afternoon spent taking a vanity tour. From the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), which simulates extra-vehicular shuttle ­missions in Earth’s orbit, to the microgravity training chair that prepared astronauts for moonwalks during the Apollo program, the week at Space Camp was genuine prep for the feeling of reality that this movie deserves. And after all, the army that trains together stays together.

Here we get a first look at Asa as Ender, sorta. We get to see the implant and a little caption from the producers.

Ender Wiggin

Though Ender’s world is one worth saving, it sometimes comes with a price.  The novel was amazingly prescient about a great many things: remote controlled drone wars, the internet, the influence of blogging, hand held computing tablets like the I-Pad, and of course, electronic surveillance implants.  Implanted tracking and monitoring chips are no longer a science fiction concept.  They exist now.  And one day, they may be as advanced as the monitor implanted into Ender, which allows Colonel Graff to “see through his eyes” and know:  HE’S THE ONE.

The movie is expected to be released some time in Nov 2013.

Founder and managing editor for Three If By Space. A Sci-Fi Geek who loves shows like Dr. Who, BSG, Caprica, Falling Skies, Terra Nova and much more. Loves to write about anything science fiction or fantasy. His sole mission is to help increase the awareness of online media and their influence on the media world and to expose its importance to an ever changing industry.

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  • Matthew Drummey

    How many books are there in the whole series?

    I ask because one problem I have with books being turned into movies is that the sequels aren’t always made. can the people making the movie guarantee that there will be at least 1 movie for each book? If not I’d have to wonder about seeing it in the first place – I probably would but knowing there are written sequels which wouldn’t be appearing on screen would be “annoying” to say the least.

    • nzrobfl

       I think its too early to gauge for them or us whether they will do the sequels. There are enough books in the saga to do as many movies as harry potter did, if done correctly. The real test will be marketing and how well the movie looks to those who have read it. The advantage this series has is that it has a huge following in the older age group (30-40) and appeals in its very nature and story to the younger group (12-29).

      • Matthew Drummey

        But that’s exactly my point if I was going to read the books I’d want to know that there would be at least a corresponding number of movies or alternatively no movies at all to avoid the mess that we have seen with the Tomorrow series (7 books plus a trilogy sequel) but only 1 movie despite the studio promoting the fact that they had grand plans for at least 2 movie sequels and a television series.

        The movie was good but it turned out to be kind of pointless since there is no chance of a sequel and the story at the end of the movie is still wide open, with HP all the books were made into movies so there was definite closure there.

        I would hate to see an Enders Game movie if I knew there was not going to be sequels for that same reason, 

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