Ender's Game (2013) Poster



Digital Domain, the VFX house behind ENDER'S GAME (and films like Iron Man 3 (2013) ) created a demo reel of the battle room before production that helped the producers successfully raise financing independently.
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The U.S. Marine Corps has ENDER'S GAME on its recommended reading list for officers, saying that it offers "lessons in training methodology, leadership, and ethics as well."
For the wirework in the battle room, the actors trained for a month with individual Cirque du Soleil members so they could do the wire performances themselves.
Director Gavin Hood also plays the giant in the Mind Game.
To achieve the effect of weightlessness for the actors in the battle room, two rigs were invented for this movie, used to capture zero gravity scenes. First was a lollipop arm, which is like a counter-balance offering a full range of motion. The second innovation was a "people crane." It's a contraption, sort of like the lollipop arm, but put on air pucks so that the effects is like you are floating around in the air.
Though only briefly visible the name tags on all the character's uniforms have the corresponding braille characters on them.
Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and several cast members that portray Battle School cadets in the film went to Space Camp prior to filming to train for zero gravity sequences.
Several props used in the film were created using 3D printers, including a model of Mazer Rackham's ship that you'll see hanging in Ender's quarters.
Each of the "stars" in the battle room, objects used for cover against laser fire from the opposing team, weighed 13,000 lbs.
The alien Formics have the features and behaviors of ants. The compound Formic Acid is found in the venom of ants.
In the early 2000s, Jake Lloyd was one of the leading candidates to play Ender. Coincidentally, in 2000, when Lloyd appeared in a magazine ad campaign to promote library patronage, he was shown reading a copy of "Ender's Game".
Portions of the film were shot at NASA's Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, Louisiana, where the massive external tanks for the space shuttle program were constructed.
The producers consulted with SpaceX CEO Elon Musk to discuss some of the future space shuttle technology depicted in the film.
The battle room featured in the film is the diameter of three football fields.
Since the book's publication in 1985, Orson Scott Card claims he has fielded numerous options from Hollywood studios to produce a film, but he persistently refused in order to maintain the integrity of his vision. When he co-founded Fresco Pictures in 1996, Card decided to screen-write the film himself. However, the film remained unmade for another 17 years. When it was eventually made in 2013, Card's screenplay was not used. Card was given a producer credit on the film, though it was stated by the studio (after a boycott of the film was instigated by LGBT fans who oppose Card's anti-gay beliefs) that this was merely an honorary credit.
During the scene of Ender's final "test", Ender's subordinates are sitting in front of transparent screens controlling the attack ships. Several times it can be seen that they are using a keypad in their left hand, the keypad is actually a Razer Nostromo computer gaming keypad.
Special wheel harnesses that allowed free range in motion were fitted to actors, for filming of Battle Room scenes. Because these scenes are supposed to take place in a null gravity environment, the actors had to carefully choreograph their movements, to give the accurate illusion of floating.
City featured in the 'Never Again' propaganda poster is actually central Hong Kong.
Director Gavin Hood first read the book as an adult. At that point, he'd already spent time in the military, having been drafted at age 17.
The film was once developed at Warner Bros, intended to be directing vehicle for Wolfgang Petersen to be released around 2003. The studio acquired the rights in the mid-90s with Orson Scott Card began writing the screenplay in 1996.
The Ben Kingsley character Mazer Rackham is Maori, a people of New Zealand.
There are 950 effects shots in the film. Digital Domain (one of the main financiers of the film) contributed 700 (about 75%) of the total.
In May 2013 a group of LGBT fans launched a boycott campaign against the film due to anti-gay views and activities of the author of the novel, Orson Scott Card, who is also a producer of the film. The studio and several people involved with the film's production later released statements about the boycott, stating that they did not share Card's views and urged people to see the film anyway. Card, however, remained unapologetic.
The markings on the Queen's face at the end when she shows Ender the cocoon are very similar to the tattoos of Mazer Rackham.


The trivia item below may give away important plot points.

When Ender asks Mazer Rackham about his tattoos, he replies that it's his way to "speak for the dead". After the Final Battle and finding the Formic Queen Egg, Ender takes on the role and pseudonym of "Speaker For the Dead". He learns and understands the deceased and speaks upon their behalf, telling their story whether it be through a book or speech. His first subject is the Formic Race, but more specifically, the queens.

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