Roberto Orci talks Ender’s Game

Aside from The Dark Knight Rises and Prometheus, it’s hard to think of a genre movie that’s more anticipated than the big screen adaptation of Ender’s Game, originally written by Orson Scott Card.

And as it turns out, one of the screenwriters on Team Abrams, Roberto Orci, is helping bring it to the big screen.

Orci, who co-wrote Transformers and the JJ Abrams Star Trek reboots, is producing, with Gavin Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) directing.

Ender’s Game stars Harrison Ford (who plays Colonel Graff), Asa Butterfield (who plays Ender), Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Nonso Anozie and Viola Davis. 

“The relationship between Colonel Graff and Ender is key to the movie’s success,” Orci recently told Collider.

“Graff would love nothing more than to be Ender’s friend, yet Graff can’t always show it because he has to make it clear to Ender that in the event of another alien invasion, there will be no one available to help him.  Their relationship is simultaneously heartbreaking and fun.”

Orci also noted that: “Though I have had some experience with bringing beloved stories to the screen, this is the first movie with a pre-existing fan base I have worked on that I didn’t write. I got the chance to evaluate the material merely as a fan.”

As far as visual influences, Orci said that Hood is “a gigantic Stanley Kubrick fan, and it shows.” 

And while Ender’s Game will definitely be under tough scrutiny from people that love the original text, Orci added: “Like the book, the movie Ender’s Game is about young protagonists dealing with one of the most adult situations known to man: WAR. We don’t soft peddle it, yet we don’t shy away from the fun of being in space and learning amazing new skills that we would all want to learn at any age.”

The Ender’s Game adaptation is based on the classic science fiction novel originally penned by Orson Scott Card. The book itself actually started off as a short story published in the August 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact. 

Card later expanded the franchise with additional characters, plot lines, books and graphic novels, which culminated in an updated version of Ender’s Game hitting store shelves in 1991.

Ender’s Game is set in a dystopian future where Earth has barely survived two encounters with the Formics, an insectoid alien species dubbed the “Buggers.” Card depicts the aliens as exhibiting ant-like group behavior, as they are quite protective of their leader, much like ants shielding their queen on Earth.

To prepare for an expected third invasion, an international fleet runs a military academy – the Battle School – to train future officers. The world’s most talented children, including protagonist Ender Wiggin, are recruited at a young age to learn the art of war in the context of increasingly difficult games.

Sequels and spinoffs of the original Ender’s Game include Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind, Ender in Exile, A War of Gift and Ender’s Shadow.

Ender’s Game is slated to hit theaters on November 1, 2013.