The cast and crew of the upcoming sci-fi flick Ender’s Game came to the San Diego Comic-Con yesterday and spoke about their new film. Heavy.com was in attendance for the panel, where a number of Hollywood heavyweights talked about the new film. Here’s what you need to know about the Ender’s Game Comic-Con 2013 panel.
1. The Star-Studded Cast Came to Comic-Con
The cast for Ender’s Game was packed with Hollywood heavyweights, and many of them came out for Comic-Con.
Among those in attendance were titular character Asa Butterfield, producer Roberto Orci, Director Gavin Hood, Hailee Steinfeld, and Hollywood legend Harrison Ford.
2. The Panel spoke about the Books’ Longevity & Importance
Ender’s Game the book is one of the most important sci-fi novels of all time. Written 28 years ago, the books sits at number 3 on NPR’s list of the most important sci-fi books ever.
Hood said, “I love the book for two reasons: the technical challenges behind the action scenes and [the fact that the plot]isn’t good versus evil. Visual effects don’t do it anymore, we need a story and this is a great, complex, story.”
The director also answered when a fan asked “How do you pick on what themes to elaborate on?”
We wanted to focus on the general themes of the book: leadership, compassion, empathy, self-identiy. Not just how you lead others, but how you lead yourself.
The cast also spoke about the biggest challenges when making the film.
Orci said the hardest task was staying true to book but developing it for another medium. He also found it difficult to show people who don’t know the book why they loved it while still appeasing fans of the orignial novel.
Hailee said for her Ender’s Game was physically demanding. From Space camp in Alabama, Boot camp and military boot camp — where they learned how to march — Ender’s Game was physically exhausting from beginning to end.
3. Harrison Ford was Grumpy
Ford, in his second ever Comic-Con appearance, was a little grumpy. He did start off the panel by explaining his character’s role.
Ford said that he didn’t really play Ender’s mentor, but his manipulator. He also said he was drawn to the complexity of the moral issues in Ender’s Game. He also explained how the book still relates to current issues, saying, “Even though the book was written 28 yrs ago, the ability to wage war without actually being on the field exists right now with drone warfare.”
But he didn’t really like the fans questions about Han Solo or Indiana Jones. One fan asked what Han Solo and Indiana Jones would say if they ever met. Ford’s response? “Hi. How are you?”
Another fan said how he wanted to be Indiana Jones when he was younger and asked if Jones would be a good solider in the Ender’s Game world.
“I used to dream about being Indiana Jones too. But not so much anymore. Han Solo probably wouldn’t be a good solider in any army. He’s what we now call an “independent contractor.”
4. They Addressed the Gay Rights Controversy
Author Orson Scott Card was in the news recently when he made some anti-gay remarks prior to Comic-Con. When asked about the issue, the panel didn’t shy away. Orci took the question and gave a great response.
No film wants controversy. A lot of people have worked on this movie and I would hate to see the efforts of these people be wasted. The crux of this book is tolerance and empathy. So, we want to use the controversy to say we support LGBT rights.
5. They Showed an Exclusive Clip
They also showed some never-before-seen footage from the film.
The clip started off with an unknown character’s voiceover:
“When the aliens invaded they nearly destroyed us. They will be back. Ender, you will be the one to save mankind.”
Then, fast forward to tons of aerial action sequences. We also got a glimpse of Ben Kingsley and Harrison Ford arguing over Ender’s training, but it seems like the two are keeping an important secret from Ender, thanks to Ford. The montage ended with Ender commanding his troops in battle.