He’s currently on screen as the dastardly Mandarin in Iron Man 3, but later this year Ben Kingsley will be looking to save the world, not teach it lethal lessons. See how he’ll appear in Ender’s Game as Mazer Rackham above.
Lessons will still be involved, however, as Rackham is one of the main teachers at the Battle School featured in the story.
Set in a future where Earth has come under attack from an insectoid race known as the Formics (or, colloquially, "Buggers"), Ender’s Game sees humanity preparing for the next wave of invasion forces by gathering up the world’s most promising children and putting them through a challenging training regime to see which of them might become great commanders of the future.
Asa Butterfield’s Andrew 'Ender' Wiggin is one of the kids who show real aptitude, with Ender proving to be a tactical genius. But at what personal cost?
Kingsley’s imposing Rackham is a veteran who led the fight against the Formics when they first attacked. As you might be able to guess from those tattoos, he's half-Maori and all tactical genius. But, like Colonel Hyram Graff (Harrison Ford), he's part of an older generation who are handing over the reins to Ender and company. Rackham is presumed dead in the book until quite a long way into the story, so it's almost a spoiler to show this picture, but given that Kingsley's casting had been widely reported y'all knew he'd be in there somewhere.
“In the script, which I think is beautifully written, what comes across is the authority and mystery,” Kingsley tells EW of Rackham. “There’s quite a lot said about him in the story before you see him – by the recruits and by his fellow officers – and that’s useful as far as preparations.”
For more from the interview, head to EW’s site. Ender’s Game arrives here on October 25.