Harrison Ford's Sci-Fi Roots Are Showing: Star to Play 'Ender's Game'

Harrison Ford © Festival del film Locarno / Vanetti
Harrison Ford © Festival del film Locarno / Vanetti

This week the terrifying Alan Rickman (seriously, name one actor more intimidating!) was sweet enough to give a lengthy interview with NPR, discussing subjects ranging from Shakespearian (he used to be in Britain's royal company) to Rowlingian (Severus Snape, anyone?). What a pussycat! Still scared though.

Anyone know what Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter are doing on the cover of this Serbian biology textbook? I mean, aside from starring together in "Raising Arizona." Apparently they have graced the cover of this eighth grade text for years, and we're just hearing about it. Who's on their math books? I nominate Alan Rickman (I'm also afraid of math).

The AVClub has whipped up a fun list of fictitious games with convoluted rules, featuring examples such as "Brockian Ultra-Cricket" from The Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy and "Cyvasse" from George R. R. Martin's "A Song of Ice and Fire" series. Of course, nothing beats the Robert Altman's "Quintet" for movies so slow that you wish you'd just played a real life board-game instead.

Regardless of how you feel about the adaptation of Ender's Game that is currently in the works (Gavin Hood, who directed the fiercely experimental "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," is attached), there's only a very slim chance that you'll be bothered by the news that Harrison Ford is joining the cast as Colonel Graff. This is great news for sci-fi fans -- the only thing better would be a guaranteed R rating, so we can show these PG-13 "Hunger Games" wimps what fully militarized children are really capable of.

  • josh

    Ender's Game needs to be fantastic. Give us Steven Spielberg, Han Solo, some random great child actor for Ender, some other random great child actors for his Jeesh, Dakota Fanning for Valentine (why not?) and someone dark and not too old for Peter (we don't want 18 or 25 year old actors playing him). And give us a nice surprise for Mazer Rackham please.

    • steven


      I agree: this needs to be fantastic, and should have great actors, whether already famous or a relative newcomer who could portray the utter craziness of this fictional universe.

      I also echo the writer's call to develop the concept as an R-rated film. Not as a cartoonish entry for an unappreciative ultra-young audience, but a gritty telling of a world where violent kid gangs roam the streets and and 10-year olds have the intelligence and mental faculties of your average adult.

    • Maya

      Dakota Fanning would make a good Valentine. Asa Butterfield has already been cast as Ender, and I think it was a good choice. See him in the new film Hugo and as Mordred in BBC's Merlin, and I think you'll agree.

      Hard casting will be for Bean and Petra, I think.

      An R rating would be a beautiful surprise. @steven, I think it kind of misses the point to call the world of Ender's game a gritty, alternate world. Violent children's gangs are hardly a rare occurrence in the world we already live in, and there are such rare child geniuses.

    • Rango

      I think Harrison Ford would have made a better Mazer Rackham than Graff.

      • tofuti

        How about Daniel Craig as Mazer??? Gritty enough for ya???

    • KC

      Yes, I too agree..Ender's Game needs to be righteous on many levels, and I also agree that it needs an R rating so that the depth of turning children into killer soldiers can be exmained.

  • Tim Woods

    What about Bean. This could be amazing.

  • Wotcher

    Considering Gavin Hood's involvement, I'm terrified that this is going to turn out just like Starship Troopers - a silly and lame parody of an amazing core literary work. May I be utterly wrong.

  • Macman1138

    The Novel will be always is.

  • Scotty

    I hope it is more 'Bladerunner' than 'Raiders of the Lost Arc'. Please, no kiddie movie.

  • You forgot to mention his first movie role as a heavy: Hans Gruber (aka "Bill Clay") in Die Hard!

    • tofuti

      How about his lighthearted painter character "Ed" in The January Man w/Kevin Klein??? Good stuff there!!! Definately palyed against character!!!

  • Susan

    I echo the other posters when I say that they should really remain true to the movie. R rated would be a must; the themes dealt with in this book are definitely not PG rated. This has been one of my favorite books since I first read it in the 80's. I would be disappointed to see a trite rendering of it in the interests of quick return at the box office rather than long term blockbuster.

  • Susan

    True to the book. Oy. Not enough coffee yet.

  • Glen

    Orson Scott Card has refused to allow Hollywood to alter any aspect of the story - for example, he has fought them inserting a love interest for Ender. He is striving to maintain a fair bit of control - and that is from Card himself (from the Audible 25th Anniv. edition of Ender's Game).

    I am very hopeful about what will be done. Great choice for Graff. If Hugo is any indication, then the choice for Ender will be excellent.

  • Random Joe

    Here is what IMDB has for the casting (mostly rumored) so far. Ben Kingsley is another good addition to the cast.

  • Bob Vogel

    Hey, I'm excited by this. I've read and re-read that story many times. Nice piece of work and perfect for a movie. As for casting Ford in the movie, I feel that's a mistake. His best days are behind him, and he's almost a ham now. Alan Rickman, yes. Great actor and brings that extra touch of sinister to any movie. But not Harrison Ford, or anyone who worked with George "Puke-us" in any star wars stuff.

  • livex

    It will be a miracle if it doesn't suck.

  • Will

    This is fantastic, if Ben Kingsley is cast that will make this the second time he'll have been in a movie with Asa Butterfield

  • Beelzel

    I fear it will be a dud from the get go. Firstly, the comlications in the book are not translatable to a "lowest demoninator" scripting necessary for todays Hollywood.
    Secondly, teh choice of Gavin Hood. As someone already stated he butchered the most excellent book of "Starship Troopers" by taking barely two chapters of information and trying to mix in the now mandatory Hollywood drivel.
    Thirdly, and on a tangent, Mr Ford, you might want to get that ear checked out and have that "mole" removed. Really, at your age?!
    Now will probably go reread the book and also "Speaker"

  • Chris Warren

    I'm thinking that they are running a little short on time for Star Wars 7, 8, & 9. While all of the actors are still alive. NOW would be a good time to get the films made.

    • Steve Chenoy

      Yes, and before George Lucas croaks, and they turn it over to Michael Bay!!! Ugh.

  • Steve C

    Harrison Fords' roots run deeper than sci-fi. Remember he was in American Graffiti and also appeared in a variety of TV series dating back to the mid-60's........well before Star Wars

    • tofuti

      including lots of westerns - and I mean REAL westerns, not Cowboys VS Aliens!!! bllleeeccchhh!!!

  • Ben


  • JJ

    The first time (of many) I've read the book, I've ALWAYS imagined Christopher Plummer as Mazer Rackam. I don't see Ford pulling his role off, would have preferred Daniel Craig.