"Ender's Game" producer Bob Orci chats with Shira Lazar at Nerd HQ at San Diego Comic-Con 2013 about the buzz surrounding his upcoming sci-fi film, based on Orson Scott Card's classic novel.
"Audiences have seen a lot of everything," Orci says. "They're pretty savvy. They're pretty smart and this book was around for a long time, trying to get made into a movie. I think some studios were afraid that it was this young protagonist but it's adult themes. It's complicated. It's challenging. It's not the usual structure." But he says that Comic-Con is the perfect place to market the film because Comic-Con celebrates fandom.
In terms of translating the novel for a modern audience, Orci says that the work was done for him in the book. "Interestingly enough, the book itself was very prescient in '84," he says. "It predicted war at a distance. It predicted blogging and elements of the Internet, devices you can touch. So we didn't have to do a lot of updating."
Orci reveals that while a lot of the cast emerged from just being fans of the book, choosing Harrison Ford was an exciting process. "Well, you think you're deciding on him, but really he's deciding on you," Orci says. "What he said when he read the script actually was that he's offered a lot of sci-fi. He's read a lot of sci-fi. And that this was one of the rare ones where he felt that actually not only was it a spectacle but it also had something to say and had a lot of emotion and that's why he did it."
He also shares a funny moment in which he asked Ford if he would ever like to direct, and he quoted Bob Hoskins by replaying, "No. Directing is like getting pecked to death by a thousand penguins."
Orci also shares some information about filming the movie with the young and talented lead, Asa Butterfield. "We shot it in sequence, funnily enough. So you actually do see Asa grow. He grew two inches during the filming of this movie." He adds, "His experience in the movie sort of mirrors the character's experience of [...] eventually becoming this competent leader and simultanously in front of the camera becoming a more confident actor."
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