Opening in theaters on November 1st is the new science fiction action film Ender's Game from director and screenwriter Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine). The movie is based on the popular series of books by Orson Scott Card and features an excellent cast that includes Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Academy Award-nominees Harrison Ford (Paranoia), Hailee Steinfeld (Romeo & Juliet), Abigail Breslin (The Call), Viola Davis (The Help), and Academy Award-winner Sir Ben Kingsley (Iron Man 3).
IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently had the pleasure of sitting down with director and screenwriter Gavin Hood for an extended interview to talk about his work on Ender's Game. The accomplished filmmaker discussed his new film, getting Harrison Ford to return to sci-fi, the legitimacy that added to the project, casting Asa Butterfield in the title role, why Ford and Sir Ben Kingsley kept their distance from the young actors on set, the challenges of adapting the popular novel for the big screen, and why it is so relatable to 21st century audiences.
Harrison Ford needs no introduction, but he's getting one regardless.
The two-time Academy Award nominee is a true movie star, having brought to life some of the most iconic and memorable cinematic characters of the twentieth century. As Han Solo, Ford brought unparalleled swagger to the smooth, secretly heroic rogue bastard, and as Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, he epitomized the strapping, serialized matinee hero of days gone by. While he is, of course, known the world over for those roles, Ford also earned acclaim for his nuanced performances in the likes of Witness and The Mosquito Coast, as well as his charismatic turns in Fugitive and as Tom Clancy's globe-trotting hero Jack Ryan.
Ford is currently kicking up awards season dust for his work as Branch Rickey in the Jackie Robinson biopic 42, and later this year he squares off against Ron Burgundy in the comedy sequel Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.
This Friday, he plays a crucial supporting role in Ender's Game. Written and directed by Gavin Hood (Tsotsi, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Ender's Game takes place in a future where Earth has survived one war with an extraterrestrial species called Formics. To ensure that humanity is ready for the next interstellar war, the planet's military, the International Fleet, recruits the brightest young people from all over the world to train at Battle School, an orbital military academy dedicated to producing the next generation of generals and officers.
In the film, Ford plays Colonel Hyrum Graff, the IF officer assigned to track the Battle School progress of Andrew "Ender" Wiggin. Played by Asa Butterfield (Hugo), Ender is a precociously brilliant youth with a rare combination of tactical genius and emotional empathy. A nearly messianic figure, Ender is the Fleet's best hope of finding a leader for the next fight against the Formics.
IAR Managing Editor Jami Philbrick recently attended an Ender's Game press conference in Los Angeles, where the legendary actor discussed the film's thematic content, how visual effects technology has changed since Star Wars, working with this movie's phenomenal ensemble, wire work, his advice to young actors, and the possibility of cracking Indy's whip one more time.
Just over a week before Ender's Game hits theaters nationwide on November 1st and a new clip has arrived, giving us our most extensive look at the film's zero-g Battle Room setting.
If you've been jonesing for a good look at some of the zero-gravity Battle Room sequences in Ender's Game, then this behind-the-scenes featurette is just for you.
Synopsis: In the near future, a hostile alien race called the Formics have attacked Earth. If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham, all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff and the International Military are training only the best young minds to find the future Mazer. Ender Wiggin, a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is recruited to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult challenges and simulations, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military's next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he's trained by Mazer Rackham himself to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.
In the first clip from next month's Ender's Game, Asa Butterfield plays it respectful as the titular young Battle School recruit, while Harrison Ford as all grizzled authority as Colonel Graff, right up until the moment Ford caps the clip off with a little twinkle in his eye.
A new TV spot for next month's Ender's Game plays up the stakes facing young Andrew "Ender" Wiggin while also dropping lots of sci-fi action.
Speaking of sci-fi action, the official IMAX poster for this adaptation of Orson Scott Card's novel has the young protagonist imploding a planet with some giant space lasers.
Summit Entertainment has dropped the first TV spot for this November's Ender's Game adaptation, along with a pair of international posters.
All three promotional items skimp on the Battle School action in favor of alien invasion imagery and lots of spaceship battles.
There's still almost a month until Iron Man 3 brings the first movie of Marvel's Phase Two to Blu-ray, but yet more extra features from the disc have made their way online.
This time, three separate animatics give a good idea of several completely different beats that could have played out over the course of the action-packed finale, including a very different fate for Ben Kingsley's Mandarin.
Iron Man 3 doesn't arrive on Blu-ray, DVD, and 3D Blu-ray until September 24th, but today we have two samples of the special features to be found on the disc.
Specifically, a deleted scene offers more of Ben Kingsley's The Mandarin and an excerpt from the gag reel showing Robert Downey Jr. having no small amount of fun.