As a fellow local boytjie, Gavin Hood certainly put my patriotism to the test when he made X-Men Origins: Wolverine. It was a beserker rage of badness, quite the opposite of Hood’s previous award winning drama Tstotsi. But Hood has certainly not chosen the easy road to his redemption, choosing to adapt Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game.
And after seeing a couple of set pics, and a shot or two of an angry Harrison Ford we finally get a look at one of the novel’s most memorable scenes courtesy of the film’s first poster. Except, Hood’s version looks slightly different.
That would be Asa Butterfield (Hugo) as the titular hero, Ender Wiggin, all decked out in a fancy spacesuit with laser pistol strapped to his side. The interesting bit is what’s behind him (or in front of him, depending on your perspective). That would be the infamous Battle Room, a giant, hollow cube in which Ender and his fellow recruits mock-battle it out in zero gravity. But if the image above doesn’t look very cubish to you, that’s because it isn’t, and if it looks kind of see-through, that’s because it is.
Hood spoke to Yahoo about the new Battle Room, saying that it was actually the first aspect of the book that they decided to tackle, even before they had a cast or budget in place.
“We put together a 45-second teaser based around the idea of a character jumping out of a gate into zero gravity and just floating into this amazing space.”
What they learned from that is that they needed some way to convey the Battle Room’s massive dimensions. How massive, you ask?
“This is the high school football field, only it’s in three dimensions. It’s the size of a football field in all directions: up, down, left, right. And the idea is teams jump out from opposite ends of this amazing space and play this amazing game of 3D paintball, almost.”
And it’s that idea of a true 3D space that gave rise to the Battle Room’s new spherical geometry, as well as it’s new transparency.
“What if we could see through? What if we could see out of the space, and we’re moving around the Earth and turning at the same time? [That would create] a really strange, disorienting experience, [that would better capture the notion in the book that in space there really is no up or down.]”
Now I’m generally not one of those purists who has themselves a myocardial infarction if a single line of dialogue is changed from book to screen, but even the most anally retentive of fans would be able to agree that at least this change has a undeniable logic behind it. Also, you are completely forgiven for laughing at the word “infarction”. I always do.
Ender’s Game will be shooting into cinemas on November 1, 2013, and then we can finally see whether Hood can hold his head up high again, or if we need to tear up his passport.
In the near future, a hostile alien race (called the Formics) have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander, Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young children to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy, but strategically brilliant boy is pulled out of his school to join the elite.
Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult war games, distiguising himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham, himself, to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.
Last Updated: March 26, 2013