Here it is, the first trailer for Ender’s Game, the best-selling novel from of-late-controversial author Orson Scott Card. It’s one of those genre classics that so many of us have read, all of us will inevitably bring our own expectations to the film, and it’s inevitable that much of it isn’t going to line up exactly with what we had playing in the theater of our mind’s eye. All Ender’s Game can strive for is to be the best version of Ender’s Game the filmmaker’s and cast can make. Now that we’ve gotten our first substantial look at it, what do you think?
I kind of hate that our collective cultural attention span has diminished to the level that we now have not only teasers for movies, but teasers for teasers of movies. But if I have to live in a world where Hollywood’s marketing strategists are taking tips from Vine, but since it means I got to see the Ender’s Game footage up above today, I’m actually okay with it.
At less than a minute long, there’s not much to see, but what there is, looks friggin’ awesome. Fully half of that runtime is taken up by a sleepy introduction from Ender’s Game stars Asa Butterfield and Harrison Ford, but they were smart in how they choose to allot that remaining time. We get a few talking heads of Ford as Col. Graff and Sir Ben Kingsley as Mazer Rackham. But then. Then! Battle room, baby!
Sir Ben Kinglsey is about to be all over movie screens—and already is in international theaters—as the villainous Mandarin in the spectacle that is Iron Man 3. With a high-profile role in what is sure to be one of the biggest films of the summer (it has already banked more than $200 million, and hasn’t even opened in the U.S.), the decision to release the first glimpse of Kingsley as Mazer Rackham in Ender’s Game feels like a strategic move.
Directed by X-Men Origins: Wolverine helmer Gavin Hood, Ender’s Game is based on the novel by Orson Scott Card. The story follows a young boy, Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), who is recruited to an elite, Moon-orbiting military school. These kids are being groomed as the next wave of leaders who will lead a war against an alien species.
Out of everything that we’re excited to see in director Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, the one thing everyone is waiting for are the zero-gravity scenes in the Battle Room. The idea of a bunch of kids literally bouncing off the walls, freezing each other, and scheming for victory like burgeoning little despots is pretty exciting. And if the film fails to deliver on this front, it’s going to be difficult for it to live up to the potential in the story.
These are intense, intricate scenes, and, in an interview with io9, star Asa Butterfield (Hugo) has shed some light on how they approached these sequences. The process of filming them sounds just as crazy as the scenes are portrayed in the book. After intense bouts of training and rehearsal, the actors were strapped into harnesses and hoisted into the air.
An astronaut even visited the set to give the actors pointers about what it is like to move, or at least try to, in zero gravity. Butterfield says:
You have to move really slowly…fluidly and smoothly. When you’re in the harnesses to stop yourself from falling at the waist, which is where they’re connected, you have to be tensed up. So keeping actions smooth whilst having your whole body completely tensed is surprisingly difficult. Meanwhile you’re saying your lines. They were fun, they were amazing fun to shoot, especially the sort action moments when you’re flying across shooting your gun. Those are awesome.