Merlin’s Mordred may take on Ender’s Game

Summit Entertainment may have found the lead actor for its upcoming Ender’s Game adaptation.

As we previously reported, Summit recently obtained the rights to Ender’s Game with the intent of creating another youth-driven film franchise.

The production company has obviously been very successful with its Twilight Saga, and is expected to do the same with Hunger Games, which is based on a series of young adult fantasy novels with a broader appeal than Twilight.

As you may recall, Ender’s Game is an Orson Scott Card novel that tells the story of Andrew Wiggin, a third-born child in a world where multiple births are frowned upon. After being recruited for tactical training, Wiggin is categorized as tactical genius and quickly rises through the ranks of his military academy.

Along the way, Wiggins makes friends and enemies of children from around the world – children who will one day be great leaders or generals in their home countries.

When I first read about Summit’s plan to make the Ender’s Game film, I thought it was a poor idea, at least judging by the Twilight films. However,  now that we’ve gotten a better look at Hunger Games, I think that Summit could do a good job with the adaption if they approach it correctly.

Frankly, though, I’m still a bit worried about the budget. Summit typically only spends $50m or less on a fantasy film, and Ender’s game will need three times that, I think to look right.

My biggest worry, however, was their choice of actors, as finding really talented children is a particular challenge. Casting older teenagers in this film (typical for a Hollywood children’s adventure) would be a huge mistake, since the major themes of the story would be completely lost if Ender did not look like a small child.

Lucklily, according to Deadline, it seems like they are on the right track here at least, as they are looking into Asa Butterfield (most well known for his role as Mordred in the BBC hit series Merlin, he’s also staring in the upcoming film Hugo), who is talented, and really looks the part. 

He hasn’t been contracted yet, but even if he isn’t, it shows that Summit is serious about getting this part right, and it has me convinced to set my skepticism about their ability to pull off a good adaptation aside for now.