Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game is a sci-fi classic, hailed for its prescient vision in foreshadowing technologies such as internet forums, push-button warfare, and youth in the military. However, it has often been described as an “unfilmable” property, due to its controversial subject matter and the high expectations of its fans, so I was intensely curious to see the film’s panel at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con panel.
The panelists in attendance today at Hall H were stars Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, and Hailee Steinfeld, along with director Gavin Hood and producer Roberto Orci. The Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick moderated (continuing a long SDCC tradition).
After a clip was shown featuring new footage, Orci noted that the challenge of adapting a classic novel is finding the right writer, and not loving the book so much as to not be able to make an entertaining film out of it. Steinfeld said it was the first time she’s had to physically train for a movie; her training included Space Camp and military boot camp. Ford was drawn to the film by the moral complexity of the story’s push-button warfare aspects and the manipulation of youth for their motor skill capacities and conceptual freedom. Hood loved bringing the environment of the book to life and again, its complexity. Having characters that wrestle with their own good and evil and finding such great actors as Butterfield and Steinfeld made him feel blessed to direct. Butterfield had to get over the fact that he was acting against Han Solo.
Fan Q&A started, and as expected, the first question asked was about controversial writer Card’s involvement in the film. Orci defended studio Summit’s stance on LGBT rights in spite of Card’s homophobic comments, and underscores the film’s focus on tolerance. Hood noted that the film focuses on themes of leadership, compassion, and what your own moral position in the world is. He wanted most of all to be true to the spirit of the book.
A fan asked if the cast could take one prop home from the set, what would it be. Hood said “Harrison Ford.” Butterfield took home a futuristic wash kit, with futuristic hairbrushes, toothpaste, etc. Another fan began to ask, if Han Solo and Indiana Jones were to meet, what would their first words be to each other. Ford, amusingly annoyed by the inanity of the question, said, “Hi, How are you?”
The panel wrapped with another look at the new footage. Ender’s Game, which will be released on November 1, 2013, also stars Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, and Abigail Breslin.
Ender’s Game Panel Photos
We have photos coming from the Ender’s Game panel, but for now, here’s a photo of Harrison Ford from the panel that Empress Eve posted to Instagram.
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[Panel photos by Dave3 for Geeks of Doom.]