With Hugo star Asa Butterfield set as the lead in Gavin Hood’s (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) adaptation of Ender’s Game, casting is moving right along. Variety reports that Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit) is now in negotiations to star as the female lead in the sci-fi pic. Steinfeld would play Petra Arkanian, the only girl in the Salamander Army, who befriends Ender. For those unaware, the story centers on a boy who is drafted to develop military strategies through war games in order to prepare for an impending intergalactic battle. Hit the jump for more on the adaptation.
OddLot Entertainment is currently looking for the right actor to portray Colonel Hyrum Graff, the adult lead of the story. As we reported just a couple days ago, a number of veteran actors are in the mix including Harrison Ford. Steinfeld is coming off an Oscar nomination for her fantastic work in True Grit, and is next set to star as Juliet in the straight adaptation Romeo and Juliet. Production on that film begins next month in Italy, and she also has an offer to play Juliet in an off-center adaptation of the Shakespeare story in Rosaline, though she has yet to accept. Additionally, she’ll star in Paramount’s adaptation of Forgotten. Ender’s Game opens March 15th, 2013.
Here’s the synopsis for Ender’s Game:
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]