Ender’s Game is fast approaching, and in order to get you super jazzed for the occasion, and probably in hopes of making your forget the unfortunate views of author Orson Scott Card, Lionsgate has unveiled a slew of new images, two galleries worth, in fact. The first is a collection of new stills from the film, while number two gathers together a new look at some of the concept art used in the production stages.
The images from Ender’s Game run the gamut through the whole movie, however the bulk of them appear to be taken from the Battle School scenes. In the future, after surviving an alien invasion, the human race looks towards young, tactically gifted minds like Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) in the hopes of finding the next great leader of men. These recruits are trained at Battle School, an orbiting military academy. Ender is small and shy, but a brilliant strategist. In these images you see him interact with rivals, like Bonzo (Moises Arias), as well as friends, like Petra (Hailee Steinfeld). There are action shots of the kids in action in combat simulations and exercises—those set in the zero gravity room are of special interest to fans of the novel—and pics of Ender’s superiors, like Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford), Major Anderson (Viola Davis), and Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley).
In this collection there are two things we haven’t seen much in the promotional process. First, we have a few behind the scenes photos of director Gavin Hood working with the cast and crew. Second, there are multiple shots of Ender’s sister, Valentine Wiggin, played by Abigail Breslin. Val may be the only real human connection Ender has, and in the novel, there is a piece of the story where she and Ender’s cruel brother become political figures back on Earth. This aside doesn’t have a huge impact on the core action of the story, and Val’s lack of presence has led some to wonder how large a role she will play in film when it looks like the bulk is taken up by explosions and aliens. Perhaps if Ender’s Game launches a franchise, like the studio hopes, there will be room to explore this aspect of the narrative in later installments.
As for the pieces of concept art, they provide a nice glimpse at the process. When you get look at these renderings of Battle School, both the interiors and exteriors, as well as the various ships and space crafts, and compare them side by side to the finished images, you get an appreciation for the work and detail that goes into a movie like Ender’s Game.
While all the outer space stuff is obviously the main attraction here, perhaps the most interesting are the images that show the futuristic life on Earth. As you can see through the juxtaposition of old and new, the sleek cars against the preexisting houses and scattered bits of nature. This is a world where multiple vantage points exist simultaneously. Perhaps this plays into Val’s story, as Ender’s siblings take opposing viewpoints, writing under the pseudonyms Locke and Demosthenes, and influence the highest levels of government.
Ender’s Game opens everywhere in IMAX 3D on November 1.