Thoughts on the first trailer for ‘Ender’s Game’

by W. Andrew Powell
Ender's Game trailer

Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is one of my all-time favorite books, and today the first trailer for the upcoming big-screen adaptation finally arrived, and it left me covered with goosebumps. (Say what you will, but I’m passionate about the films that I love.)

For the newcomers out there, Ender’s Game follows a genius child, nicknamed Ender, in the near future, after an alien attack has left Earth preparing for the next invasion by the creatures they call the “Buggers” (since they resemble giant insects). Ender is sent into space to train in Battle School where he leads a team of children who must learn how to be the best military commanders the world has ever known, so Earth can be saved from extinction.

Putting it mildly, I’ve been very nervous about what this film adaptation would look like from the very beginning, because I love the original novel so much. For me, the book is a near-perfect story, but aside from a few little things, the trailer for director Gavin Hood’s film hit almost every note perfectly–from image and mood, to action, and what we glimpse of the story too.

From what we see in the trailer, the Ender’s Game movie is going to match the book as a thoughtful, intense action movie, and it seems to have the right casting nailed down. Asa Butterfield as Ender Wiggin fits my vision of the character, even if he is a bit older than Ender appears in the book. (The catch is that I don’t really believe you could have Ender the right age in the film, as it was written. After all, the book calls for Ender to be six-years-old when the story begins, and that seems impossible to cast against.)

I also love the idea of Harrison Ford playing Colonel Graff, Hailee Steinfeld as Petra Arkanian, and most especially, Sir Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham. It’s still early to say what they’ll bring to these characters, but Sir Kingsley as Rackham looks phenomenal. My hopes are high though that the entire cast of characters, including the army of children that Ender leads, and Viola Davis as Major Anderson, will be as great as I remember in the book.

Here’s the thing though. If any of you are starting to wonder if you should read the book before the film comes out, my answer is definitely to wait, but then again, I’m a movie fanatic. If Ender’s Game turns out as great as I hope, it will be one of the best films of the year, and going in to the story fresh will actually make it all the more surprising. That means you can always read the book afterwards to see anything that they just couldn’t fit into the film.

On the other hand, if the film sucks, you can still read the book afterwards to get the full effect of Card’s story.

All I know is that my fingers will be crossed until November 1, when the film opens in theatres. I’ll definitely be writing more about the film over the coming months leading up to the film’s release, so stay tuned.

Watch the trailer for Ender’s Game:

“The enemy’s gate is down.”

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