Entertainment Weekly is reporting that Harrison Ford and Abigail Breslin have signed on to play roles in Ender’s Game, a 2013 film adaptation of Orson Scott Card’s sci-fi classic about a boy genius conscripted into a war against alien invaders. Asa Butterfield, currently starring in Hugo, will play the title role, Andrew “Ender” Wiggins; Breslin will play his older sister Valentine. Ford is Col. Hyram Graff, the head of the military academy.
I’m sure there’s a lot of rejoicing among science fiction fans, both at the news of a movie, and at the news of the casting of these roles. Me, I’m optimistic about the first film, but it’s tempered by a couple things. First, Ford’s role isn’t going to be a large one if it’s true to the book, so this is more like hiring a big-name actor for a cameo than casting a star in the lead. Second… the movie is either going to be done well, or it’s going to be done poorly. So far that’s tautological and no different from anything else. But if it’s done well, it’ll probably be a success — which means they’ll feel compelled to film the sequels as well. And the first sequel was both mediocre and far and away the best of the bunch. So either way, this is going to amount to some bad sci-fi films in the mid 2010s.