Last month we got word that Hollywood’s movie adaptation of Ender’s Game was moving forward and beginning casting. Now we know exactly what kinds of actors they’re looking for.
A detailed casting call for ten different characters has gone out. That casting call includes nearly every pivotal role in the film. They’re looking for someone to play pretty much all of the kids, including Ender, Bean, Peter, Valentine, Bonzo, Dink, Petra, and Alai.
Here’s the really good news: Ender is still a kid. There was some talk in earlier adaptations of turning the character into a teenager, but they’re keeping him a kid. Specifically the casting call says they’re looking for someone around the age of ten. That’s a little older than Ender is at the start of his stint at Battle School in the book, but it’s a little younger than he is by the end of the book. Casting someone around the age of ten will let them have the same actor play him at different ages, I suspect. A logical move and lightyears better than making him a teen.
The full casting breakdown has been posted at io9. After the jump are a few more highlights from the script pages they uncovered as part of the casting call.
Warning! Spoilers follow for anyone who hasn’t read the book. And if you haven’t read Ender’s Game… what are you waiting for?
Bean: We get to see Bean watching a heavily edited video of Mazer Rackham’s famous victory over the formics, in which Mazer fires his nuclear warhead into the formics’ exhaust system. And Bean is so thrilled he throws his hands in the air and shouts with joy — until Ender bursts his bubble, explaining that the video is edited so we don’t see Mazer die. (And later, Ender also hints that Mazer’s victory might have had a darker side, that’s also edited out.) In another scene, Graff shows Bean and Ender to the famous zero-gravity training room, where they float around with a bunch of other kids. Ender explains to Bean that there’s no “up or down” in zero-G, and then they discover their weapons actually freeze anyone they shoot at, by causing the spacesuits to swell up. They team up to go freeze some of the other kids.
Peter Wiggin: Ender’s brother is fully a psychopath in this version of the screenplay. He’s insanely jealous that Ender was chosen for the battle school, and completely enraged when it seems like Ender has washed out of the program. At one point, he locks their sister, Valentine, out of the room and forces Ender to put on a Formic mask so they can play Formics and Astronauts, which basically consists of Peter beating the crap out of Ender.
Valentine Wiggin: She’s the gentler, sweeter member of the Wiggin family, who’s always there for Ender — except for when the people in charge of the school won’t let Ender communicate with her. She tries to protect Ender from Peter, but mostly fails — and just like in the book, she convinces Ender to return to the school when he tries to drop out after he hurts Bonzo Madrid. She explains to Ender that what makes us human is our brains, and we didn’t evolve those brains so that we can lie around lakes — we evolved them for killing, or else we wouldn’t still be around. We’d have been killed by wild animals. She alone grasps that Ender has to understand his enemy to defeat them, and in understanding the enemy, he grows to love the enemy — right before he destroys it.
Bonzo Madrid: Just like in the book, he’s a swaggering idiot whose platoon has won most of its most recent battles, and he resents being saddled with a useless, untrained snot like Ender. He orders Ender to stay out of the way during battles, and not even use his weapon. Later, he takes a group of his homies to try and ambush Ender in the shower.