Ender’s Game delayed, actors train for zero-g

Sumit Entertainment has announced that its adaptation of Ender’s Game has been delayed by about 8 months, moving the film’s release from Spring 2013 to the 2013 holiday season.

Whether by way of explanation or just to increase confidence in the movie’s production track, Summit also released a statement and photograph from Space Camp, where several of the young actors have been spending some time.

Last week, this photo appeared on the Ender’s Game production pblog, posted by producer Robert Orci, which could possibly explain the delay:

It is accompanied by this description:

“Houston, we have a problem. We don’t know how to land the Shuttle. Good thing it’s just a simulator safely on the ground at SPACE CAMP in Huntsville, Alabama.

“Aramis Knight, Moises Arias, Asa Butterfield & Suraj Partha (pictured above from a monitor in the MISSION CONTROL ROOM ) and the rest of our cast agreed that to do Ender’s Game right, they had to train as though they were really headed into ZERO G.

“And this wasn’t just an afternoon spent taking a vanity tour. From the Manned Maneuvering Unit (MMU), which simulates extra-vehicular shuttle ­missions in Earth’s orbit, to the microgravity training chair that prepared astronauts for moonwalks during the Apollo program, the week at Space Camp was genuine prep for the feeling of reality that this movie deserves. And after all, the army that trains together stays together.”

Ender’s Game, an Orson Scott Card novel, tells the story of Andrew Wiggin (Butterfield), a third-born child, in a world where multiple births are frowned upon. When Wiggin is recruited for tactical training (for which, he learns, he was born), he is ranked as a strategic genius and quickly rises through the ranks, making friends and enemies of children from around the world – children who will one day be great leaders or generals in their home countries.

Seeing how the cast has shaped up, and getting a sense of the enthusiastic crew has given me some confidence about the adaptation, but Summit still makes me worry. The studio is known for lowballing film budgets and their sci-fi/fantasy projects often suffer as a result. Of course, there is also the terrible and pandering franchise Twilight, though I can’t really blame Summit for not being able to do much with the source material.

Ender’s Game, which also stars Harrison Ford, Hailee Steinfeld, and Ben Kingsley, hits theaters November 1st, 2013.