Gavin Hood’s (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s classic sci-fi novel Ender’s Game is little more than a month away. And while November 1 people will be lining up to watch the exploits of a young military genius—or to protest the film as the case may be — now you can hang twelve months worth of Ender on your wall. That’s right, now you can buy an official 2014 Ender’s Game calendar, and we’ve got a sneak peek courtesy of our sister site Cinema Blend. It’s full of new pictures and captions that may shed a little bit of light onto the film.
A good portion of the action in Ender’s Game takes place in the Battle School, an orbiting military academy, and these photos show as much. In this particular future, Earth has been invaded by an alien race called Formics. We were able to win the day, but at great cost. If it wasn’t for the heroics and inventive tactics of a commander named Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), we would have been screwed. Because the powers that be are none too keen on this happening again, they’re taking preventative measures. One of these steps is looking for brilliant new military minds, ones with unconventional approaches. This leads them to accept younger and younger recruits, those whose minds are uncluttered with tradition and preexisting knowledge.
Andrew “Ender” Wiggin is one of these recruits. Perhaps the most strategically brilliant mind anyone has ever seen, he’s young, shy, and smaller than his classmates—though as you can see in one picture, he’s already as tall as Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford), the commanding officer. He also may be the only hope the human race has in the war against the aliens.
From the beginning, Ender never fits in at Battle School, as illustrated by the photo of him standing in the cafeteria, looking for somewhere to go. This is a classic nerdy new kid, first day of school kind moment. It’s a moment that could come from the high school or junior high from any number of iconic coming of age movies, not necessarily from a work of sci-fi.
Ender’s intellect puts him at the head of the class from a combat perspective. He takes his Dragon Army, a makeshift unit of the cast offs and dregs of the school, and turns them into an undefeated juggernaut. You can see his team in action in a couple of these photos. But instead of winning him acclaim and friends, his success isolates him from his fellow students, and earns him increased pressure from his instructors. By the end of his time, he’ll be pushed as near to his breaking point as they can possibly get him.
Fans of Card’s novel will be pleased to notice the likes of Bean (Aramis Knight) in a few of these photos, as well as Major Anderson (Viola Davis). It’s nice to know that even though the movie has made a number of large-scale changes to the source material, some things will still feel familiar.