Director Gavin Hood’s adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s science fiction novel Ender’s Game is gradually picking up steam, despite the fact that it doesn’t hurtle into theaters until November 1 of this year (October 25 in the UK). One of the elements fans of the book are most excited to see are the acrobatic scenes that take place in the Battle Room, the zero gravity training environment used by the military cadets. In IMAX 3D these should be quite the spectacle. Well know there’s a new picture that gives us a glimpse of what the finished product will look like. Star Asa Butterfield (Hugo) also sat down with Empire and talked about working without gravity, and much more.
The image show Ender (Butterfield), floating in a horizontal manner, talking to Harrison Ford’s Colonel Graff, the commanding officer of the Battle School, the underage military academy orbiting in space. You get a good, full body look at the flash suits that the cadets wear, as well as at the interior of the room.
Butterfield says the suits look incredible, but “because they were tight and thick and didn’t give you all that much movement,” they rather uncomfortable to wear. He describes it as “like wearing three wetsuits and then putting on body armour over that.” Sounds like a blast. On set there were a couple versions, a “normal one” for doing scenes and actory stuff on the ground, while they a larger model with room for a harness underneath for the more aerial centric moments.
In regards to the extensive amount of time spend filming the zero gravity sequences, he adds:
It was really good fun. But yeah, wearing harnesses for nine hours, by the end of the day you’re glad to get out of them. It’s really tiring staying up there. And the chafing… it’s exactly as you might imagine. All through rehearsals we would spend an hour each day on the wires. And then we spent a month and a half shooting the scenes.
Given that they filmed for that long, there is sure to be a ton of time spent in the Battle Room, which is good news for fans of the book. But one particular stunt stands out as Butterfield’s personal favorite.
There’s a really cool sequence where I’m sort of spinning over backwards and I let go of my guns. They’re floating by my side just going along. As I push myself through these two stars, I spin back over and grab the guns, then shoot the people around me.
Ender’s Game also stars Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Abigail Breslin, and Viola Davis.