Prepare yourselves, Ender’s Game fans. The first image from director Gavin Hood’s feature film adaptation of the beloved Orson Scott Card novel has landed online, giving us our first look at Asa Butterfield (Hugo) in the title role and Harrison Ford as Colonel Graff. For those unaware, the film tells the story of Andrew “Ender” Wiggin, a young boy sent away to Battle School to hone his military skills and, hopefully, save the world from an impending alien invasion. In addition to this image debut, Hood has also briefly discussed a change that was made from the book and the fact that they’re keeping the same ending from the novel.
Hit the jump to check out the first image and quotes from Hood. The film also stars Sir Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Viola Davis and Abigail Breslin. Ender’s Game opens November 1, 2013.
Speaking with EW (which also debuted the image), Hood talked about making a change to the book in order to ensure that Butterfield would play Ender throughout the entire film:
“I discussed this at length with Orson,” says Hood. “The decision was made very early on to compress the time period into about a year, so that we could have the same actor from beginning to end… We were trying to hit that sweet spot right around 12, which Asa fits in very nicely.” Hood said the decision was mostly a practical one: “When you sit down for two hours, you’re just beginning to bond with an actor, and then he changes and suddenly you’re bonding with someone who’s meant to be the same person, but you know he’s a different actor.”
Those worried about major changes from the book, however, can rest easy knowing that Hood has maintained the novel’s rather dark ending:
“That ending — and the complex moral questions that it raises — is one of the reasons why I love the book, ” says Hood. “I promise you that it is very much there.”
Hopefully we’ll get a look at the film in action soon, as I expect a trailer will be released in the coming months.