Gavin Hood is Playing ENDER’S GAME

     September 20, 2010

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An adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s Hugo Award-winning science fiction novel Ender’s Game has been taking the scenic route around development hell over the last decade.  Wolfgang Petersen (Poseidon) was attached to direct, but his connection to the project dissolved over the last couple years.  Now,a new director has taken up the task: Gavin Hood.

You may know Hood best as the man behind the determinedly awful X-Men Origins: Wolverine, or perhaps you prefer to remember him as the writer/director of Oscar winner Tsotsi.  Maybe you’re Reese Witherspoon, and you remember that he coached you in Rendition.  No matter which you pick, he’s not an obvious match for the material.  More after the jump:

director_gavin_hood_on_the_set_of_rendition_lEnder’s Game is near and dear to my heart.  It was my Harry Potter, if that makes sense.  There are so many reasons why a direct film adaptation wouldn’t work without even getting into the chronological nightmares of the series as franchise material.  And that just makes me want to see this even more, especially with Card’s tacit approval by way of direct input.  A radically different cinematic adaptation could be a visually spectacular companion piece to the books.

I didn’t like Tsotsi, though the South African crime drama has its fans.  And Wolverine was depressingly insipid, but the rumor mill suggests we ought to cut Hood some slack as a fresh director chewed up and spit out by 20th Century Fox.  So Hood doesn’t exactly get me excited, but I can think of worse options.  Probably an upgrade from Petersen, to be honest.

According to 24 Frames, Hood may not direct the film, though he’s developing the adaptation under such a title.  Hood finished a rewrite on the most recent script, written by Card himself.  Can’t think of any reason that will benefit the film.

I haven’t seen Let Me In yet.  But from what I’ve heard, I’m pretty sure I want a Matt Reeves-directed Ender’s Game.  The man can direct action and children, a hard combination to come by.  Chloe Moretz could be Valentine.

For fellow fans, who would be your ideal choice to fill the director’s chair?  Am I being too hard on Hood?

The synopsis for Card’s Ender’s Game:

enders_game_book_cover_orson_scott_card

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, that is, the world survives.  [Amazon]

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