[Editor's Note: Along with our coverage of The Ender's Game Experience, Kristal Bailey attended the Ender's Game press conference and learned a few interesting tid bits about the upcoming Lionsgate film. How she kept it cool while breathing the same air as Han Solo, I'll never know.]
With all the controversy around Orson Scott Card, it’s hard to remember that Ender’s Game actually has nothing to do with the gay marriage debate. It’s not a plot point or thematic message within the film at all. The film follows young soldiers as they train for an interplanetary war under the tutelage of Harrison Ford‘s military commander.
In advance of their panel at San Diego Comic Con, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Roberto Orci, Gavin Hood, and Harrison Ford sat down to chat with journalists. Here are the five most interesting things I learned from their press conference.
1. Han Solo and Graff are nothing alike.
Graff is a complex character who’s charged with the awesome responsibility of recruiting and training the young soldiers. He faces a lot of the moral issues involved in using young people for warfare, which are integral to the character’s personality and his story. Ender doesn’t face these moral issues until the end of the film really, so it all falls on Graff’s soldiers. The book deals with a lot of complex issues of social responsibility and the moral issues that one faces when one is part of a military establishment. Harrison Ford was, “just delighted to be involved in a film of such high ambition and talented people. Graff is a more complex character than Han Solo, [but] that doesn’t mean I regret Han Solo.”
2. They tried to use practical effects whenever possible.
Gavin Hood said, “you think of these movies as big CG events, but they’re really not. Whenever we could, we built sets that felt as real as possible. It really helps the actors feel like they’re in a real environment. The set directors did a great job in creating these spaces. In the Comic Con Fan Experience, you can see the detail even on the bunk beds and helmets – we had to pay attention to even how would they reflect light because you have to capture and work with that light in the camera.”
3. Gavin Hood’s Tsotsi and Ender’s Game aren’t all that different.
Gavin made Tsotsi, a $3 million movie, and now Ender’s Game. Deep down in both stories you have troubled kids trying to survive in a morally complex environment. This time, you get to play with some really cool toys, but at its heart is a great character story. Hood said, “I get to play with these visual effects and worlds, but also have a character driven story that touches on the human element.”
4. Roberto Orci thinks you don’t need film school nowadays.
When discussing how much thought they put in to bonus features, commentary, deleted scenes, etc that goes on to DVD/Blu-Rays now, producer Roberto Orci revealed that true film fans can learn so much from all these behind-the-scenes featurettes and bonus features that you don’t really film school. Gavin Hood chimed in that these special features are more the producers concern than the director. He was so wrapped up and buried in making the film at hand that he couldn’t think about the DVD/Blu-ray or potential sequels.
More San Diego Comic Con coverage coming your way, stay tuned!