First Proper Look At Ender's Game

Harrison Ford grills the recruits...

Ender's Game

Thus far, we’ve only gotten a few, behind-the-scenes and set photos from Ender’s Game, largely thanks to the film’s official blog. Now the first true picture from the adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi novel is online and it’s full of Harrison Ford being grumpy. Anyone shocked? Nope… Take a look above, courtesy of EW.

For the uninitiated, Card’s beloved tome, published in 1985, is set in a future world where humanity has barely survived two brutal attacks by an insectoid alien race known as the Formics.

Ever since, Earth’s international fleet has been recruiting the most prodigious children from around the world, running them through a tough training program to find out who could potentially be great commanders, master tacticians or superb warriors.

Ender Wiggin (played in the film by Hugo’s Asa Butterfield) is one such recruit, who shows great tactical aptitude in battle games.

The book has long been consigned to the “unfilmable” shelf despite numerous attempts, due to its unconventional wargames and the fact that it contains a fair bit of violence to and by children. But now Lionsgate and writer/director Gavin Hood are challenging that idea.

Ford plays Colonel Hyram Graff, one of the instructors at the Battle School, giving Ender what appears to be a growly dressing down. According to the director, the actors tried to maintain some of that distance despite becoming friends on set. “The relationship between Harrison and Asa was very close,” Hood tells EW, “but he didn’t overly befriend him off the set. He helped Asa by allowing that slight sense of intimidation to be there.”

Despite having to make some changes so the book's complex narrative and themes work as a film, Hood also talks up his dedication to the source material: “I am a fan. And I have had a desire to do this and have been working on this now for nearly four years. The ending – and the complex moral questions that it raises – is one of the reasons why I love the book, ” says Hood. “I promise you that it is very much there.”

We’ll see for sure when Ender’s Game arrives on October 25 next year. For more from Hood, head to EW’s site.