ENDER’S GAME to be Released in IMAX, Plus New Production Updates

     August 10, 2012

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For a project that has the epic scope of Ender’s Game, it’s only fitting that the film be released in IMAX.  Fans can look forward to seeing the adaptation of the beloved Orson Scott Card novel in IMAX format when it debuts in theaters November 1st, 2013.  The sci-fi film from director Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) follows Andrew “Ender” Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a boy trained at a military battle school in the hopes that he’ll develop a strategy to defeat the alien menace known as the Formics.  This will make two big features for Lionsgate being released in the same month (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire releases November 22nd), two properties the studio hopes will continue to bear box-office fruit.  But before Catching Fire can sweep Ender’s Game aside, the sci-fi film will have three weeks to build up a big payday and, hopefully, a bigger following.  Hit the jump for more updates on Ender’s Game from the film’s production blog. 

enders-game-gateThanks to The Wrap for a heads up on Ender’s Game coming to IMAX screens next fall.  The site didn’t have much else to offer, but the fact that it’s being released in IMAX strongly suggests the presence of at least a few scenes in the 70mm format.  I’m personally hoping for some scenes in the Battle Room, maybe some epic space combat and perhaps even some shots of Ender’s home world.

I don’t often geek out over film properties.  Even this year’s crop of comic book movies only got my blood pumping ever so slightly more than usual.  But Ender’s Game is my top favorite book of all time, so it goes without saying that I’m beyond excited for this film’s release.  Thankfully, the production team is keeping us up to date with the film’s progress (which wrapped principal photography a couple months ago).  The posts give me more assurance that the powers that be are fans of the source material and will hopefully translate that appreciation onto the screen for fans.  Here are some of the choice cuts from the latest production blog entries.  Some spoilers may follow for the uninitiated:

enders-game-null-gravityWhen asked about the translation of the book’s internal dialogue:

We have a muppet of the Colonel who narrates the whole thing from the future.  Oh, no wait, different movie.  I joke because that is a great question and I think Gavin would tell you that it was the biggest challenge he faced in composing his script.  It was also the most challenging aspect of the casting process.  So here we have two things that really make it happen.  First, we got such an unbelievable group of actors who can convey so much with their faces and body language… frankly, with their performances, which is something a book is denied using to convey inner emotion or thought.

And secondly, of course, Gavin elegantly translated some of the inner thought into action or character decisions in his script — drama — and that allowed him to find natural places for the characters to speak about what they are going through.

For fans of the character, Bean:

Bean who?  Oh, Bean!  You should know how much Orson Scott Card advocated for as much Bean as we could muster, and really encouraged ways to make him pivotal.  You’ll decide if we succeeded!  I think we did. And we’re even more excited for you all to experience Aramis Knight’s fantastic portrayal of Bean.

enders-game-international-fleetAre you curious about the futuristic design of the costumes, especially the flash suits?

With science fiction, there’s a danger in creating a look that seems so foreign it becomes alienating.  For ENDER’S GAME, we wanted to make a future that looked both functional and logical.  We wanted it to be a future where you can picture yourself in their shoes.

But of course, it is the future.  For the uniforms, all synthetic materials were used, meaning no loud silk florals.   And for the flash suits… well, we actually had to create them out of thin air.

Christine built the flash suits from virtually non-existent fabrics designed by our incredible production team.  The idea was to take cues from “extreme sports” to inspire our design, using real world practicality as opposed to the heightened reality of superhero spandex and a cape.

Production designers Ben Procter and Sean Haworth talk about the task of creating sets with a futuristic look made by human hands versus that of an alien design:

As Ben described it, the most fun was creating the two contrasting cultures of Human and Formic technology and architecture.

“We tried to imbue the spaces and vehicles with a gritty, engineered realism that would help sell the seriousness of the training our hero kids are going through. The visual style of the Formics, on the other hand, needed to be both exotic and beautiful to represent a society not deserving of extinction.”

Ask them to describe the Formic world and you’ll get excited tales, imagining a Formic method of manufacture that was distinctly inhuman — a kind of biological 3D printer, with the drones building living spaces and spacecraft layer by layer.

Starring Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, Harrison Ford, Sir Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Hailee Steinfeld, Nonso Anozie, Aramis Knight, Han Soto and Moises Arias, Ender’s Game will be released (in IMAX!) on November 1st, 2013.

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