Casting on director Gavin Hood’s (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s novel Ender’s Game continues to heat up, as Ben Kingsley is the latest to join the cast. Heat Vision reports that Kingsley is in talks to star in the sci-fi pic as “a legendary war hero presumed to be long dead.” The story centers on a young man who develops military strategies through war games in an attempt to prepare for an intergalactic battle. Kingsley’s Hugo co-star Asa Butterfield is set as the title character, with Hailee Steinfeld attached as the female lead. Harrison Ford is being courted to play Colonel Hyrum Graff, though no official dealmaking with the actor has taken place.
I’m not familiar with the book, but I’m told that Heat Vision’s description of Kingsley’s character sounds like Mazer Rackham, a soldier whose major previous victory is used as propaganda. While I’m still not sold on Hood, the cast being assembled continues to impress me. Production is set to get underway in February, so expect more casting announcements very soon. Hit the jump to read a synopsis of the novel. Ender’s Game opens March 15th, 2013.
In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race’s next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. A brilliant young boy, Andrew “Ender” Wiggin lives with his kind but distant parents, his sadistic brother Peter, and the person he loves more than anyone else, his sister Valentine. Peter and Valentine were candidates for the soldier-training program but didn’t make the cut–young Ender is the Wiggin drafted to the orbiting Battle School for rigorous military training.
Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers, Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.
Is Ender the general Earth needs? But Ender is not the only result of the genetic experiments. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway for almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. Between the three of them lie the abilities to remake a world. If the world survives, that is. [Amazon]