Summit Entertainment, the studio best known for the ridiculously successful Twilight series, have acquired the U.S. rights to Orson Scott Card’s 1985 sci-fi novel Ender’s Game, which Wolverine director Gavin Hood has wrote as a live action film and will helm.
Star Trek & Transformers producers Roberto Orci & Alex Kurtzman have helped Hood form his script and will act as producers, alongside Orson Scott Card himself.
Summit are co-financing and hope to find a partner at the Cannes Film Festival next month. The intent is to create another youth-driven series based on the number of popular books (including Ender’s Game and it’s sequels) which is hoped will catch on with a teen audience when it’s complete, with production pencilled in to begin early next year.
Previously, veteran helmer Wolfgang Petersen (Troy, Air Force One) had spent years at Warner Bros trying to get a film version off the ground which eventually died in 2009.
Deadline has the run down on the novel;
Ender’s Game is a seminal futuristic novel that Card originated as a short story in 1977 and then turned into a 1985 book that won both the Hugh and Nebula Awards and spawned a series. The storyline begins on Earth after an alien attack, when gifted children are recruited by a government desperate to fight back. The kids are taught a competitive game that’s a cross between the Quidditch matches of Harry Potter and the Jedi light saber battles from Star Wars. Only the best and brightest will be chosen. A young boy emerges as a genius strategist, and the planet’s best hope to destroy the alien Formic race.
Director Gavin Hood had a tough time making Wolverine but we shouldn’t forget the South African filmmaker won an Oscar in 2005 in the Best Foreign Language film section for the excellent Tsotsi, and perhaps he suffered from transitional pains into English-language material. He is currently putting together a presentation in Cannes with the hope to attract buyers and then casting of up-and-coming talent will begin.
I don’t know a great deal about Ender’s Game but I’m always happy to see sci-fi movies developed, so let’s hope this one is plain sailing from here.