Ender's Game Cover Art: The Famous

  

The first edition of Ender's Game, published by Tor Books in 1985, featured cover art by British artist John Harris, one of the best known Sci-Fi concept artists. This is the image most strongly associated with the book as Tor kept it alive through decades of hardcovers, paperbacks and reprints. However, this artwork has actually nothing to do with Ender's Game as it was originally created for a 1982 re-release of Frederik Pohl's classic SF novel Drunkard's Walk, which is also the title of Harris's image.

Subsequent editions of Ender's Game feature artwork from other famous science fiction artists. The cover for the original German release was designed by Tim White, whose art is all over the place since the 1970s, not just on hundreds of book covers. Several works have been published with collections of his Sci-Fi and Fantasy images, you might recognize some of them from Robert Heinlein or Terry Pratchett books.

Ender's War, a 1986 book release that features both Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead, sports a cover designed by Vincent Di Fate, another well-known artist and Hugo Award winner. Di Fate was commissioned by NASA in 1985 to create the official painting of the International Space Station.

  

Both these covers are from Tor Books' Starscape edition, a series that was created to make Tor's back catalogue more attractive to a younger audience. Personally, I think it's more targeted at parents buying "appropriate" books for their children, so it's not a very good idea and doesn't do the book justice. Especially the first release with cover art by a widely unknown artist named David Gaadt -- interestingly enough a Greensboro, SC resident like Orson Scott Card -- makes Ender's Game look like a story for children. Fun times in zero gravity with a cool and shiny suit and helmet.

Tor Books eventually realized that and commissioned Welsh artist Gordon Crabb to give the Starscape cover a facelift. The result is a big improvement over the previous edition, portraying Ender in a typical scene from the book and showing enough of the dark side without focusing on emotions.

Ender's Game Cover Art: Introduction

As we have plenty of time to pass until we get to see the first official stills and trailers for the Ender's Game movie, I will devote a series of articles on the imagery in Ender's Game book covers. How did cover artists from more than 20 countries imagine the world of Ender for the past 27 years? We have compiled an extensive cover art gallery for Ender News where you can browse all international book covers we have collected, though it is nowhere near complete; there are just too many old international releases where we couldn't get our hands on a good cover scan. You will notice a huge variety in styles, themes and quality in our gallery, and I will present you some of my favorite covers in this series.

Introduction

Before we look at those covers, we should ask ourselves: what makes a good cover? What is the purpose of a book cover?

Many people will say that the cover sells the book, but that is not entirely true. The cover sells the back cover, it should stand out, grab your attention, so you pick it up and see what it's all about. Should the cover image accurately depict the theme or mood of the book? That's probably a task too big for many of the more complex novels, but I tend to agree that the mood of the book should go well with the cover image, as it would be a big negative for the reader if he finds out while reading that what he imagines the book world to look like is nothing like the cover art suggested.

A good cover is one that the reader likes before and after reading the book. The cover image will always and forever be associated with the novel: it is often the only image the reader has outside of his head, and therefore he has to be and stay comfortable with it.

For Ender's Game we find an almost unprecedentedly wide range of designs over the many international releases. Some covers look like generic Sci-Fi art, others are so far off-topic that it seems unlikely that the illustrator has ever seen a single line of text. But many (or even most) cover images look like serious effort went into the design to either capture the mood of the book or to bring a particular scene from the book to life on the cover.



The image shows an excerpt of the wonderful cover art from Sam Weber for the 2010 U.S. eBook version, published by Tor Books. Beth Meacham, Tor's editor for Orson Scott Card, had the following to say about the challenge of creating an Ender's Game cover image:
Covers for this book have always been a problem. It's not a children's book, but when you ask for a painting of a ten year old boy, it's hard not to get something that looks like a children's book. This can lead to problems, like the email I recently got from a school librarian who was sure that there was some mistake; this children's book had "bad words" in it.
Sam Weber's Ender still looks like a 10-year-old boy, but - while very likeable - he's not cute, and his eyes look much older than his age. The full cover shows him in a flash suit, hovering weightlessly above a planet. This could be Earth or the Formic home world, but whatever it is, Ender is alone out there, as Weber puts it: "an image that conveys the loneliness Ender is forced to endure because of his almost alien brilliance."

Orson Scott Card calls it "the best cover art ever to appear on Ender's Game," and after browsing through all those 70+ cover images from all around the world I think he might be just right.

Vote for "Ender's Game" in NPR's Summer Books Poll!

Each year, National Public Radio (NPR) holds a summer books poll, asking its readers to help create a recommended list of the top 100 titles of a certain genre. In last year's list, the Top 100 Science-Fiction and Fantasy novels, Ender's Game made it to #3 -- but not on its own! As soon as they heard about the poll, the staff over at Ender's Ansible started a campaign amongst Ender's fans, encouraging them to vote for the Orson Scott Card novel.

And hey, it worked!

This year's category is Young Adult Fiction. If you'd like to see Ender's Game hold a top spot again this year (and if you're reading this, of course you do!), here's how you can help:

Visit NPR.org and create an account (or log-in if you have one already). In the comments section of that same post, write the titles and authors of the books you wish to nominate, Ender's Game obviously being one of them. It's that easy!

Here are some guidelines for nominations:
1. Limit yourself to five titles per post. Don't hesitate to nominate a book that someone else has already listed; your entry will count as a vote that will help that title progress to the next round.

2. Nominate "multivolume novels" as one work. The Harry Potter series or the Hunger Games trilogy, for example, will be judged as single, collective works — so don't bother listing the separate titles in the series.

3. That said, not all series are "multivolume novels." To be judged as a collective work, the books in a series must be written by the same originating author or authors and must tell a more or less continuous story — usually about a consistent group of characters. So, you can't nominate the whole Goosebumps series as such, but you can nominate The Horror at Camp Jellyjam as an individual work.
As soon as NPR has closed the post for nominations, they'll create a list and then we'll be able to vote for our favorites. Once that happens, we'll make another post to let you know.

Until then, spread the word to everyone you know who is an Ender's Game fan. I've no doubt that we can all come together as a fandom and help get Ender's story on the list of the Top 100 Young Adult Novels -- we all know it deserves to be there!

Khylin Rhambo on "First Family," "Ender's Game"

Khylin Rhambo and family
Earlier this week, Khylin Rhambo attended the launch event of Entertainment Studios' fall program, a line-up which includes his new show First Family. The sitcom, which follows the hectic lives of the President and his family in the White House, was recently picked up by NBC for a huge initial 104-episode order.

JJ Snyder from Red Carpet Report covered the launch party and had a chance to speak to Khylin about his role in the new show and, of course, Ender's Game

The pilot episode of First Family was filmed earlier this year, and Rhambo seemed excited about the experience, his fellow cast members, and his character. "I play Charles, the president's son and, you know, he's a funny... he's always happy. I love playing that type of character. He's always happy, he's mischievous, he's into the ladies. [...] It's a really fun character to play."

The conversation soon turned to Ender's Game:
You have a lot coming up in the next year, right?

Yeah, definitely. I just got done filming Ender's Game, a film that was with Harrison Ford, Viola Davis, and Sir Ben Kingsley. So that was a really good learning experience for me as an actor and I'm really excited.

So you felt like you really took a jump forward in that, huh?

Oh yeah. I mean, that was my first movie so it was really cool that I got to experience that as my first movie.
Later in the interview, Synder asked him to elaborate a bit more on the film and the creative process of getting the alien Buggers on the big screen:
We want to know a little bit more about Ender's Game.

Yeah, so I play Dink Meeker in Ender's Game and he's like a boy genius and he's close to the main character. And you know, we have this big journey of like, fighting these aliens and it's a really cool story that I'm excited to be a part of. And I read the books, the books are amazing so... it's really cool. I'm stoked. I can't even believe this has really happened so...

You know when they have a lot of aliens in a movie, you know, some of them I know are kind of puppets, some are CGI. What were these aliens?

These were CGI. I mean, we never really see the aliens but I saw, you know, the whole layout of them.
Check out the video for the full interview:



First Family is set to begin production this summer and will premiere this fall on NBC.

Thanks to EnderNet for the heads-up! :)

Production Blog #12 - Human vs. Formic Design

Since filming wrapped on Ender's Game earlier this month, we all knew it was only a matter of time before the production blog came to an end as well. So, this is it! The final post -- and it looks like they saved the best for last:

While in the previous entry we got an inside look at what it's like to costume a futuristic world, the final blog post was all about designing the world itself.

This week, the producers sat down with production designers Ben Procter and Sean Haworth, the two men responsible for creating the world of Ender's Game:
We recently got them [Procter and Haworth] to reflect on the process of creating this world.

As Ben described it, the most fun was creating the two contrasting cultures of Human and Formic technology and architecture.

"We tried to imbue the spaces and vehicles with a gritty, engineered realism that would help sell the seriousness of the training our hero kids are going through. The visual style of the Formics, on the other hand, needed to be both exotic and beautiful to represent a society not deserving of extinction."

Ask them to describe the Formic world and you’ll get excited tales, imagining a Formic method of manufacture that was distinctly inhuman — a kind of biological 3D printer, with the drones building living spaces and spacecraft layer by layer.
I really like the use of the word "drones" here because, as it is a word usually associated with insects, it suggests that the design team has indeed embraced the canonical idea that the Formics are bug-like.

Fun fact: Did you know that the word Formic comes from formica, which is the Latin word for ant? This is why an ant infestation in your house is usually treated with formicide. 

Let's look at some ant stuff:



The first image is an example of a rather large ant colony taken from Discovery.com. Blown up, it would sort of look like a fortress, right? Or at least something one can imagine humans living in.

The second, however, is from concept artist Kaitlyn Colhouer. This image has nothing in particular to do with Ender's Game; rather, it's the concept design for a video game aptly named God Save the Queen, which seems to feature ants as the main characters and takes place at least in part inside an ant colony. I really like the look of it: doesn't it remind you of how Ender describes Eros, with its low, carved-out ceilings?

You should check out the rest of her artwork here. The design for one of her characters, Faro, is very similar to how I've always pictured the Buggers in my head, though perhaps slightly less intimidating. What do you guys think?

It will be really interesting to see how the production designers incorporate insect-like design into Eros and the Formic dwellings. What would Eros have looked like, nearly a century after the humans captured it from the insectoid alien species and repurposed it for their own use?

We'll have to wait and see!

And hey, this week we also got a peek at the Battle Room gate:



I don't know about you guys, but I really feel like grabbing a handhold and flinging myself through those doors.

How many gates do you think the Battle Room will have in the movie? If there's a "B" Gate, then we can most likely assume there's an "A." Are these the gates through which the two armies would send their soldiers? Will there be a "teachergate" for I.F. staff such as Graff and Anderson as well?

This week's post also made clear that both Haworth and Procter were huge fans of the novel before they even joined the team.

"Even in a short conversation," the author writes, "their excitement for the project is tangible."

So, it seems, is their excitement for their co-workers:
But the most amazing thing about talking to them, without question, is their eagerness to share the credit and sing the praises of the whole crew that brought ENDER’S GAME to life.  Whether it be admiration for the beauty of Gavin’s adaptation, the "coolest art department ever assembled", the ingenuity of construction coordinator Anthony Syracuse and Supervising Art Director Todd Holland, or even the fact that Orson Scott Card himself came to give their design and vision his seal of approval, this was a great crew in every sense.
 Read the full blog post here

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That's a wrap on the production blog, guys! But that doesn't mean there isn't still fun stuff to come: Keep checking back here for all your Ender-related news, or give us a follow on Twitter, Facebook, or Tumblr!

Did you know that we've officially passed the 500 day mark? Only 498 days to go 'til Ender's Game hits U.S. theaters.

Smart Pop Books at SDCC 2012 -- "Ender's World" Giveaways!

Attending Comic-Con next month? This is for you!

Smart Pop Books, publisher of Ender's World, the Enderverse anthology slated to be released in February 2013, reached out to us yesterday to let us know that they will be making an appearance at the San Diego Comic Con this year and will be giving away some Ender's World freebies!

And no, that doesn't just mean retractable pens and bumper stickers. Check out what they're giving away:

For everyone: a free copy of Smart Pop's preview volume which will include one of the essays from Ender's World (Hilari Bell's, on "Winning and Losing in Ender's Game")

For the lucky: an advanced galley (reading copy) of Ender's World! Here's a description of the contest:
Win an Advance Galley of Ender’s World

Ender's World: Fresh Perspectives on the SF Classic Ender's Game, edited by Orson Scott Card, comes out in February 2013. But we're giving 25 Comic-Con attendees the chance to read it first.

Come by booth #4300 in the exhibit hall and ask us to scan your badge to be entered to win an advance copy of Ender's World. We'll pick the winners after the end of the convention and notify you via email. Then we'll ship you your copy, hot off the presses, as soon as they're printed!
Some more information about Smart Pop Books' presence at SDCC can be found here.

Smart Pop is a "line of smart, fresh, engaging nonfiction titles on the best of pop culture TV, books, and film, with a particular focus on science fiction and fantasy television and literature."

Make sure you stop by their booth and say hello!

Asa Butterfield: Breakthrough Award Winner 2012

(Zimbio)
Often called the "Oscars of Young Hollywood," the 14th Annual Young Hollywood Awards were held last night in Los Angeles and Asa Butterfield was presented with the Breakthrough Award of 2012.

The ceremony, hosted this year by Twilight actress Ashley Greene, is an annual event "honoring and celebrating the accomplishments of emerging young talent throughout the entertainment industry." (yhawards.com)

Ender's Game co-star Hailee Steinfeld, who was similarly honored last year, presented the award to Asa and appeared genuinely thrilled for him, hugging him tightly on stage and grinning happily in the background while he gave his acceptance speech.

Bonzo actor Moises Arias also attended the event, posing with Asa and Hailee for some fun pictures beforehand and hanging out at the party afterward.



Here's a fun video of the three arriving and meeting up for pictures before the ceremony:



Check out Zimbio.com for more photos of the event.

Congratulations, Asa!

Promotional Poster at 2012 Licensing Expo

We spoke about an upcoming teaser poster in Monday's post, but we weren't expecting to see something quite this soon!

The Licensing International Expo is being held this year from June 12-14 in Las Vegas and, thanks to expo attendee ComingSoon.Net, we've been given a glimpse of some of the teaser posters for many anticipated 2013 movies, including Ender's Game:

An annual event where exhibitors from more than 80 countries gather and sell the licensing rights to their brands and properties, the Licensing Expo presents an opportunity for film studios to introduce their upcoming movies to a variety of possible customers, such as retailers, manufacturers and Fortune 500 marketers.

What do we think about the poster? It's fairly straight-forward but we're still very early in the promotional ballgame. Most important for us: It now seems likely that this is the logo and font the studio will be using in all Ender's Game-related promotion, such as on future posters, t-shirts, and other merchandise. Can't wait to run across it in person!

---> Update: Received news from the studio: "This is not an official teaser poster (or final logo – will likely change for the final look), but just something mocked up for use at the 2012 Licensing Expo going on in Las Vegas now."

Many other movies also unveiled posters at the Expo, including After Earth, A Good Day To Die Hard, Pacific Rim, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Hotel Transylvania, Iron Man 3, Robocop, and Robopocalypse.

Check them out over on ComingSoon.Net!

Production Blog #11 -- Costuming a Futuristic World

Last week's production blog post gave us some insight into costuming Ender's Game, a process headed up by costume designer Christine Bieselin Clark. We even find out a bit about flash suits! Take a look:


You think your job is tough?  Try having to dress an entire imaginary, future-world. 

That responsibility fell to Christine Bieselin-Clark, our wonderful costume designer.  She was tasked with making the future look — and even feel — real and tangible.

With science fiction, there's a danger in creating a look that seems so foreign it becomes alienating.  For ENDER'S GAME, we wanted to make a future that looked both functional and logical. We wanted it to be a future where you can picture yourself in their shoes.

But of course, it is the future.  For the uniforms, all synthetic materials were used, meaning no loud silk florals.
So, what are we looking at here in this photo?

On the left-hand side, we see what appears to be a selection of pattern pieces hanging on the upper body of a mannequin. The visible ones are all clearly marked "Petra" so these are patterns for one or more of Hailee Steinfeld's costumes. It's possible "undersuit" is written on the top pattern piece but it's very hard to tell for sure.

Can you guys make anything else out? If so, send an email our way!

Edit: My knowledgeable friend Aidan who studied apparel design at RISD had the following to add:
The curved pattern underneath the one that says "top" looks like a sleeve or a collar. The rest of them look like they must be making a pretty slick jacket. And the machines in the back are Juki sewing machines - I can tell because of the sewing lamps. That hook that's holding all the patterns together is called a "pattern hook." All patterns have a hole punched in them and they usually are hooked together by what they're making, i.e. that is all probably Petra's jacket, and maybe the other one hooked to it is for the matching pants or whatever they're making. They usually hang them up together on closet rods and then you can shift through them like clothing so if you need a specific pattern it's all laid out and labelled, so you're not hunting around. They'll have slopers somewhere too, which are the basic clothes that all other patterns/clothes are based off of, but I don't see those in the photos.
Bolts of fabric in various shades of silver/grey/blue fill the right-hand side of the photo and, while this doesn't seem particularly interesting at first glance, it's possible a color theme is beginning to appear:



Not a loud, silk floral in sight.

If we take a look at the images we've been shown so far, we can surmise that Clark has used a rather metallic color palette for costuming the soldiers of the International Fleet, if not the Battle School students themselves. These colors are cold, serious, and a far cry from the lush greens and blues normally associated with Earth.

It's easy to see these shades working well in a military environment, a place where there is no family, no personal possessions, and very little warmth to be found.

May seem a bit depressing, but Battle School was never a very happy place.

The production blog post continues:
And for the flash suits… well, we actually had to create them out of thin air.

Christine built the flash suits from virtually non-existent fabrics designed by our incredible production team.  The idea was to take cues from “extreme sports” to inspire our design, using real world practicality as opposed to the heightened reality of superhero spandex and a cape.

And the best part?  They look pretty darn cool.

And then there's having to make a uniform for Nonso Anozie, who plays Sergeant Dap.

Normally, a bolt comes with nine yards of material, and can make 2-3 suits.  Or, in Nonso's case, one suit became a living example of the expression “the whole nine yards”.

But hey, it's the future… so maybe we've switched to metric.
Glad to hear there's no spandex, though it could have been amusing to see Ender in a cape.

So, flash suits! A lot of extreme sports seem to have a jumpsuit theme going. What would we think about the suits looking something like this?



Using entirely different colors, something like this could work, right? What other "extreme sports" do you think Clark was possibly inspired by? Head over to our forum and discuss!

Nonso Anozie: The Whole Nine Yards -- Coming to a theater near you in November 2013.

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Don't forget: the official production blog is updated every week by Roberto Orci and the team behind Ender's Game, so follow them on Tumblr so you don't miss out!

Ender News is also on Tumblr - it's a great place to stay up-to-date with not only the latest in movie news, but also fan art, Ender's Game book reviews, and what the cast is up to on Twitter.

Don't have an account? Create one here

Post-Production: What To Expect In the Coming Months

As of Saturday, Ender's Game has officially finished filming and has now entered the long stage of post-production. While we hear that term thrown around a lot, do we all know exactly what it means? Here's a simplified overview of some of the movie-making processes which take place after filming has wrapped:

- splicing of footage to create fluid scenes and a lucid storyline
- visual effects such as CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery)
- sound effects (including incidental sound effects such as doors slamming, footsteps)
- movie soundtrack/score written, recorded and edited
- looping: re-recording of dialogue not picked up in the filming process

© Digital Domain
As the Ender's Game visual effects company Digital Domain is based in Los Angeles, it seems safe to assume that the majority of post-production work will be done on the west coast. And, according to his twitter, that's exactly where Asa Butterfield (Ender) is headed sometime today.

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So what does all of this mean for the fans? What can we look forward to in the coming year and a half?

Official Stills and Posters: While we're already seeing a lot of cool photos from the producers over on the official production blog, we expect Summit will do their best to keep our palettes wet over the next 508 days. While we may wait a bit longer for a trailer, it's probably safe to expect to see some sort of official poster before the end of the year... and stills perhaps even sooner!

Merchandise: Later, when the marketing and promotional push starts to happen, it's possible we'll see the shelves of book and department stores packed with Ender's Game merchandise. A re-release of the novel with the movie cover goes without saying, but we also expect to see the insignia of the International Fleet and possibly even the individual Battle School armies on a variety of products, from t-shirts to key chains, school folders to coffee mugs. Maybe we'll even see some Bugger plushies or Halloween costumes for October 2013. ;)

Comic-Con 2013: This seems like a no-brainer, and one of the reasons the push of the release date to November is most excellent. Held annually, San Diego Comic-Con International (SDCC) is a 4-day comic book convention in southern California. Fantasy, sci-fi and superhero films gain a lot of publicity by setting up presentations in the exclusive Hall H, usually premiering footage, trailers, and holding interviews and panels with cast and crew members. This will be a huge opportunity for Lionsgate to show up and promote Ender's Game to its target audience.

Trailers: While they may be a while off, looking back at Lionsgate's latest blockbuster hit The Hunger Games, may give us some insight as to when we may see the first Ender's Game trailer. 
The Hunger Games Dates
Start of Filming: May 23, 2011
End of Filming: September 15, 2011
U.S. Release Date: March 23, 2012
Teaser Trailer: August 28, 2011 at the MTV Music Awards
1st Full-Length Trailer: November 14, 2011 on Good Morning America
2nd Full-Length Trailer: February 3, 2012
When it comes to guesswork, the problem is that the period of time between the end of filming and the release of The Hunger Games (post-production) was much, much shorter than for Ender's Game. As you can see above, the first teaser trailer was released before filming was even complete. However, maybe the time-period gives us some clues:
Teaser Trailer: 7 months before release (April for Ender's Game)
1st Full-Length: 3 months before release (August for Ender's Game)
Of course, this is pure speculation. I'm not sure anyone on the planet could say right now when we'll be seeing a teaser trailer for Ender's Game. But with this formula we can at least make an educated guess. Is it possible we may see the teasing-est of all teaser trailers before the end of the year?

One thing's for sure: whenever the trailers are released, you'll be able to find them here on Ender News!

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What is everyone looking forward to the most in the upcoming year and a half? Will you be doing your part to promote Ender's Game to friends and family?

Principal Photography Wraps in New Orleans

Filming is wrapping up on the Ender's Game movie this weekend and most of the cast has already left New Orleans and headed home, the younger members creating a wave of Twitter sadness as they took a few moments to send heartfelt messages and farewells to their fellow castmates.

Some of the most memorable:
Khylin Rhambo: I'll cherish this experience forever I can truly say I've become a better person through this experience love you all #EndersGame

Hailee Steinfeld:  Congratulations to my Enders Game cast for wrapping today. So proud of you all & love you guys so much! XO

Asa Butterfield: Farewell to @AramisKnight88 @KhyRhambo and @surajpartha . It's been one helluva ride.

Aramis Knight: Already missing @asabfb @KhyRhambo @HaileeSteinfeld @surajpartha @Gwarren333 Gavin,Conor,Michael,PayPay,Loxie..the list goes on #Endersgame
Not only the members of Ender's jeesh have packed their bags: it appears Harrison Ford has also left the Ender's Game set, as it's been reported by several local news sources in Macon, Georgia that he's in town to start working on his next project, the Jackie Robinson biography 42.

To celebrate the wrap, TomKats catering created some fun ice sculptures for the cast and crew in New Orleans:



Lovely, right? It seems they were quite the attraction as many of the cast and crew members who were still on set yesterday couldn't help but dig out their phones and take a picture.

Any word on how long they lasted?

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While the movie's transition to post-production is hugely exciting for fans of the project, it's also very bittersweet. When filming began back in February, the summer seemed ages away! Yet, here we are, 106 days later, and the Ender's Game movie has officially been filmed. Which of us believed a year ago that we would ever see this day?

Here's a look back to February and the first cast party:



It's only been 3 months, but they all look younger there, somehow. Even Gavin. ;)

Ender's Game is scheduled to hit U.S. theaters November 1, 2013.

Jimmy Pinchak Back in NOLA: The Mind Game?

Received a heads-up from a very reliable source this morning that, even though he appeared to have wrapped back in March, Jimmy Jax Pinchak (Peter Wiggin) is definitely back in New Orleans and will be filming a scene sometime today or tomorrow. Which scene, you ask? Let's speculate a bit.

First, we have to acknowledge that there are possibly Peter Wiggin scenes in the film which do not appear in the book at all. However, for the sake of speculation, we have to stick with the plotline we are familiar with. 

Here are the scenes in which Peter appears in Card's novel:

- earthside harrassment of Ender
- his face showing up in the Mind Game
- Locke and Demosthenes

It seems logical to assume that all earthside scenes have already been shot since the Wiggin family actors wrapped ages ago. Any sets would most likely have been struck by now and dragging everyone out to film on location doesn't make much sense (to me) the day before filming is scheduled to end.

That being said, there's no report of Valentine actress Abigail Breslin being back in NOLA and, apart from potential flashbacks, there isn't a single scene from the novel in which Peter appears and Valentine doesn't.

Except for when his face appears to Ender in the Mind Game.

But as we all know, Orson Scott Card mentioned in a letter he wrote in 2011 that the Mind Game would most likely be cut:
Also, the book would make a movie that was at least four hours long.  Much has to be cut - including all of Peter's and Valentine's online exploits, the mind game, and much of the incidental material before Ender gets into Bonzo's army.
While that seems fairly clear, we've heard no official report about any such cut being made, a cut that would disappoint many Ender's Game fans. Even producer Roberto Orci admits being fond of the fantasy world Ender plays in during his free time. When asked about his favorite scene, Orci replied:
I always loved the scenes within the Mind Game that Ender believes he plays for recreation in the orbiting battle school.  Part video game, part psychological test, and if you know the book, part something extraordinary that shouldn’t be given away for those who have not read the book.  As for my favorite scene from the movie, we are still filming it so I haven’t seen it yet! 
Very cleverly worded, especially if the Mind Game hasn't been cut after all. 

And if the Mind Game is still being included, then a lot of it is going to have to be worked out post-production, possibly with a CGI mouse, giant and crazy wolf children. Maybe Pinchak is being used at some point during these last two days to film the mirror scene that Digital Domain can play around with and insert into the Mind Game later.

Fingers crossed, right?

As mentioned above, it's possible that all of this speculation is for naught and that Pinchak is back in NOLA filming a scene we don't yet know about; perhaps Peter ends up tormenting Ender in Battle School some other way. But that he is back on set this week at all definitely seems to improve our chances of getting to see the Mind Game on the big screen.

So, what do you guys think? Is it possible we'll get to visit Fairyland after all?

Wrap Party at NOLA's "House of Blues"

This past Saturday night, the cast and crew of Ender's Game swarmed the House of Blues in downtown New Orleans to celebrate the wrap of principal photography, which is scheduled to end this Friday.

Most of the remaining cast members will sadly be packing their bags and saying their goodbyes over the course of the week, so this was an opportunity to get in one last night of fun before they have to head their separate ways, although there is unfortunately not a Bugger piƱata in sight:

(Instagram)
(Twitter)


(IMDB)
Looks like a blast, right? If Twitter is anything to go by, the party went on quite late into the evening; the cast and crew no doubt wanted to make the most of one of the last times they will all be together for a while.

No word regarding where Aramis Knight was being transported in the second photo but he appears semi-cool with it. Though, one might have their doubts about the trustworthiness of that convoy.

And, hey! It wasn't just the cast and crew who seem to have had a good time at the wrap party. According to a photo submitted to IMDB, producers Bob Orci and Lynn Hendee (pictured left) were also around for the fun, notably outside and possibly trying to avoid the teenage shenanigans going on indoors. ;)

Wrap parties. They're very bittersweet.

But not everyone is saying goodbye! While most of the actors are leaving the set this week, Jimmy Jax Pinchak (Peter Wiggin) is doing exactly the opposite. While he finished filming in early March, he mentioned on Twitter a few days ago that he'll be headed back to NOLA on Thursday for some more shooting. Whether he's needed for post-production purposes or possible squirrel harrassment scenes is rather unclear.

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So that's it, guys. Only a few days left until the first part of this epic Ender's Game adventure is all wrapped up.

What's been your favorite part so far? Three guesses what mine was.

EN Battle School Armies -- Battle #2 Round-Up

Hey guys! Another week has passed and thus, another battle! Check it out:

This week, Flame Army came out on top and picked up 128 points. Congratulations, Flames! Rabbit Army's second place earned them 96 points, followed by Lion Army in 3rd with 77 points.

Warren led our individual soldier standings this week; not only was he the fastest, but he also answered every single question correctly. Very impressive. Congrats, Warren! Will we see a repeat this week?

Visit the Mess Hall to view the rest of the stats for this week's battle, including the Top 20 Individual Soldiers list. Check out who made the cut!

Battle #3 begins today. Head over to the Battle Room to hone your Ender's Game trivia skills. But don't forget, Battle Room fights are a timed trivia challenge. The faster you complete the challenge, the better your score. Also, keep in mind: every wrong answer adds 45 seconds to your score! Watch out for typos!

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Last week's challenge was to write an Ender's Game parody of a popular (or unpopular!) song, changing the lyrics to make them EG-relevant. There were too many great submissions to pick a favorite, so make sure to check out all of them:

Code Name Raven - House of HeroesStill Alive - Jonathan Coultron (Listen!)
Somebody That I Used to Know - GotyeFireflies - Owl City
Home - Tides of ManTiK ToK - Ke$ha
Friday - Rebecca BlackWe Are the Champions - Queen
We Are Young - Fun.Somebody That I Used to Know - Gotye (2)
One of Us - Joan OsborneLight Up The World - Glee Cast
Uprising - MuseMy Favorite Things - The Sound of Music
Baby - Justin BieberMy Eyes - Doctor Horrible
We Will Rock You - QueenCall Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
Pokemon Theme - PokemonSomebody That I Used to Know - Gotye (3)
A Man's Gotta Do - Doctor HorribleSomeone Like You - Adele
California Gurls - Katy PerryLittle Ghost - The White Stripes
Get Back to Hogwarts - AVPMFor the First Time - The Script
No Tears - ScarfaceWe Found Love in a Hopeless Place - Rihanna

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This week's challenge: take a picture that reminds you of Ender's Game, for whatever reason! Find out more in the forum.

Enjoy your week, guys! And good luck in this week's battle!

Kyle Clements to Portray Young Mazer Rackham

When we reported a few weeks ago that gas masks were going to be making an appearance in Ender's Game, we instantly began speculating what they could be used for. A childhood play thing? Part of the design of the intricately designed spacesuits? Some guesswork from our article:
At some point during the film, it seems likely we'll see some flashbacks, footage, or "vids" from the Second Invasion. When the battle was over and Mazer Rackham's men were about to search the Formic starships, none of them could have had any idea what they might find aboard. They would probably have dressed to prepare for all sorts of intense scenarios, scenarios that might have included ones which dealt with airborne toxins.
While we still can't be sure whether costume designer Christine Bieselin Clark has utilized the gas masks as part of the spacesuits or if they are simply being used as props, we now know that the chances of seeing flashbacks of the Second Invasion are pretty good, as it's been confirmed that Kyle Clements will be appearing in the movie as a younger version of Sir Ben Kingsley's character, Mazer Rackham.

Kyle Clements is a New Orleans-based actor who can most recently be seen in Peter Berg's action film Battleship and in A&E's drama series Breakout Kings. He tweeted late last night that he's officially wrapped his scenes as young Rackham and praised the cast and crew he's had the opportunity to work with these past few days.

"This film," he wrote, "will truly be fantastic."

The inclusion of a young Mazer Rackham in the film doesn't only increase the likelihood of getting a look at the Second Invasion, but it may also help us gain insight into Rackham's character. Was he once like Ender, "reckless, brilliant and young?" What would it have been like to leave your wife and children behind forever for the chance to save humanity?

Principal photography is scheduled to wrap in New Orleans on June 8th.