Happy 6th Month Anniversary to Ender News!


It's hard to believe it's already been 6 months since filming started and we launched this site. Can you guys imagine how excited we're all going to be a year from now? I think this gif sums things up nicely.

Edit: To clarify, this clip is from the movie Zoolander and they are drinking frappuccinos. ;)

431 days to go!

Happy Birthday, Orson Scott Card!

Ender's Game author Orson Scott Card is celebrating his 61st birthday today and we here at Ender News would like to wish him super well!

Fun facts:

- Card came up with idea of the Battle Room way back in 1967.
- He studied theater at Brigham Young University.
- Not only has he written novels, but also both poetry and plays.
- He once started a theater company.
- He spent 2 years as a Mormon missionary in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
- Ender's Game has been translated into 28 different languages and has more than 80 book covers.
- Both Ender's Game and Speaker for the Dead won the Nebula and Hugo Awards for best novel in 1986 and 1987 respectively.

Orson Scott Card's latest novel is a collaboration project with author Aaron Johnston entitled Earth Unaware: The First Formic War. The story revolves around a mining family out in the far reaches of the solar system, the first humans to spot an incoming alien spaceship -- a spaceship carrying... guess who! Check it out on Amazon.

Happy Birthday!

Reading "Ender's Game" -- A Photo Challenge

As most of you probably already know, Ender News launched a feature of the site back in May called Battle School Armies where fans of the series can sign up, join an army, and compete against other soldiers/armies in Ender's Game trivia battles

Another way to earn points for your army has been by participating in occasional challenges which are posted in the forum. These have been loads of fun so far: we've designed promo posts, written newspaper headlines, and even designed our own Pop-Tart themed ipod cases!

We want to open up this next challenge to those who visit the site but don't necessarily pop into the forum. And since we definitely seem to have a few new people waiting around to see the results of the giveaway, we thought this would be the perfect opportunity for a bit of fun.

Challenge #7: Reading Ender's Game

Your task is to submit a photo of someone reading Ender's Game - but be creative! Since the location and subject of your photo are both entirely up to you, the crazier your picture is, the better! What sort of staged Ender's Game-reading scenarios can you come up with? A construction worker reading on the job? Perusing the novel in the shower? Flipping through Ender's story while you're in Calculus and meant to be figuring out limits?

There are really only three rules:

- No obvious photoshop: should be a real photo and not something you drew/manipulated on your computer
- No nudity/vulgarity. Use common sense, please.
- A copy of Ender's Game must be included in the photo

Email your submissions to endernews@gmail.com with the subject "Photo Challenge," and include your Battle School alias/army name if applicable. Please try to send in the photo in its original size (or at least fairly large) as this makes it easier for us to crop/resize the images for the site.

All valid entries will be displayed in a gallery once they start coming in. And it's possible that the top 10 submissions will be picked by us and the very best will be voted on in a poll. It's also possible that the winner will receive a prize, so put on your thinking caps!

Challenge ends September 30th and all EN army members will receive 15 points for their submission.

Have fun, guys! And remember: imagination is key.

EN Comic-Con Swag Giveaway!


What we're giving away: 

One Ender's Game t-shirt and a handful of the SDCC Ender's Game pins pictured above.

How to enter the raffle:

Sign in and visit this post on the Ender News forum. Leave a message stating you'd like to be the recipient of some cool Ender's Game freebies. ( Actually, you can say whatever you want. Chill out, guys. :D )

You have until midnight EST on August 31 to enter the raffle. At that point, the post will be closed and we will use a random number generator to pick the winners. The first number we draw will receive the t-shirt. The others (~10) will receive one SDCC Ender's Game pin.

We will post the names of the winners both here on the blog and in the forum on September 1st!

A couple things to note:

- Everyone may enter the raffle exactly once. All double entries will be deleted.

- There will be other giveaways! We have a boatload of pins and a couple other t-shirts to hand out to lucky Launchies so make sure to keep checking back.

Good luck, guys. And don't forget to tweet @mikethemovieguy and thank him for making this giveaway possible! :)

"Ender's Game" Production Budget and Marketing Strategy

We've all known since early April that the Ender's Game film was pushed from its original March release date to November 1st, 2013. Now, we have a good idea about the strategy behind this move, and also some more clarity about the film's production budget.

Production Budget

Digital Domain Media Group, the company that will be responsible for the hopefully stunning visual effects in Ender's Game, released their quarterly report this week and gave us a bit more insight into the financial framework of the movie. Digital Domain is also co-producing Ender's Game; in fact, this is their first live-action co-production and they hold 37.5% ownership interest in the property. As of Tuesday's report, the production budget changed from $100 million to "slightly in excess of $100 million," which puts Ender's Game in the same ballpark as other high-profile Hollywood movies.

To put this number in perspective: Lionsgate's biggest blockbuster to date, the hugely successful The Hunger Games which returned more than $400 million at the box office so far, had a total production budget of about $80 million.

The Strategy Behind EG Release Date Move

The Hunger Games is also relevant when it comes to understanding the move to November: In a call with investors (PDF) last month, an analyst spoke with Digital Domain's CEO John Textor and asked him to elaborate on the film's release date. His response:

On the release of the film itself, the more powerful part of our release date is that the idea, since Lionsgate controls both Hunger Games and Ender's Game, is that that's a pretty formidable tandem. And if Ender's Game is to open up on one weekend, and Hunger Games is to open up three weeks later, we can make sure -- really, this is Lionsgate's capability -- that they do everything to maximize the joint marketing opportunities between those two films to make sure that the press and all of the attention on Hunger Games, and people are asking for exclusives and this type of thing, they can be redirected to make sure that we get guaranteed exposure for Ender's Game.

And the most important part, in my opinion, and I'm not speaking for Lionsgate -- is that the nice, strong three-week gap between Ender's Game and Hunger Games makes it very difficult for anybody to want to step into the middle of that. So, even if somebody comes before it by a week --they'll have their big opening, and they'll have their big week, and they'll be in their tail off period as we're having our big opening and our big week. What you want to do with that tandem is do your best to make sure everybody -- nobody's crazy enough to jump in between Ender's Game -- Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield and this massive book property -- and Hunger Games, which clearly has shown its muscle at the box office.
This sounds like a very plausible theory to us here at Ender News. The target audience for both Ender's Game and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is roughly the same, yet very different from the Twilight series which Lionsgate also controls. Both are Sci-Fi themed action movies that appeal to both genders alike and marketing will be crucial for the studio to yield those franchises' full potential.

Could be a pretty formidable tandem, indeed.

Suraj Partha Sings John Mayer's "Dreaming With A Broken Heart"

So, it looks like Jimmy Jax Pinchak isn't the only musically-inclined member of the Ender's Game cast!

While working on an EN project this morning, I came across this YouTube channel (which I'm assuming is ran by a member of his family) and am a bit blown away at how talented Suraj Partha is:



Why in the world didn't they give him a song when he appeared on Glee this past season? A completely wasted opportunity.

Okay, here's what needs to happen, in my opinion: Partha, Pinchak, and every other Ender's Game cast member who can sing or play an instrument (which, by now I'm assuming they all can) need to get together and record some music.

Better yet, they could all form a band. Call themselves "Buggers and Astronauts" or something similar... unless you guys have a better band name. Any suggestions?

Head over to Twitter and let Suraj Partha and Jimmy Jax Pinchak know how much forming a band (or at least recording some new music!) would help us through the next 442 days.

No pressure, gentlemen.

"Ender's Game" Hitting IMAX Theaters, Lionsgate Definitely Eyeing Sequels

Lions Gate Entertainment released their quarterly results yesterday and held a conference call with analysts after the original press release was published. For those of you who are not familiar with how this works in the financial circles: investment banks and financial professionals regularly get together with a company's CEO and possibly other executives in a phone conference where company officials read out an extended statement followed by a Q&A session with analysts. Usually the analysts are more interested in what will drive growth in the company's future (such as upcoming projects/movies/etc) than they are in the reported numbers from last quarter.

These calls are always a good opportunity for a company to disclose details about developments that are promising for its future performance, as it is forbidden for a public company to partially disclose information that could possibly move it's stock price outside of such official events.

Here's what's interesting for us: According to Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer, Ender's Game will definitely be released in IMAX theaters come next fall:
Ender's Game has already completed principal photography, and we'll be looking at it next month before it enters post-production to complete its visual effects. With Ender's Game and Catching Fire back to back, we will have a 6-week continuous run in IMAX theaters next November and December.
This news is sure to thrill U.S. fans. However, Summit admitted that they "do not control the international rights of Ender's Game" and cannot say for sure whether or not the film will be shown in IMAX theaters abroad.

Later in the call, an analyst discussed future plans and stated that the studio has "got 11 books" and therefore a lot of material to choose from regarding possible Ender's Game sequels. He continued to inquire into the long-term goal regarding the franchise. Here is Feltheimer's response:
"There's a lot of books. We're excited about the franchise. It's a very different kind of a franchise than Hunger Games, and obviously, we just have to wait and see where we stand with the first movie. " - Jon Feltheimer (CEO of Lions Gate)
This quote and the use of the word "franchise" makes it absolutely clear that Lionsgate is looking at more than just one Ender's Game movie and should also have the rights to any possible sequels. Naturally, the success of the first movie will be the key factor in whether or not any of these sequels are actually made, but it seems very likely at this point that the studio has big plans and has already made contractual agreements with selected actors.

While Ender's Game is, as Feltheimer pointed out, a very different sort of franchise than The Hunger Games, there is no doubt that the original material is full of exciting opportunities to continue the story of Ender, his family, and the Battle School students.

This is the first time that we have an official statement - and from the chief executive officer himself - that Lionsgate views Ender's Game as a franchise and not just a stand-alone movie. This leads us to believe that from the very first casting they had potential sequels in mind and made the necessary arrangements with at least the actors.

Can't wait to find out which direction the studio intends to head!

The Nets Report #2

Ender's Game Cast/Crew News and Gossip

It's been a bit quiet around the Ender's Game fandom lately, the beginning of a lull which was only to be expected with still well over a year to go until the film hits theaters. But we must battle through!

Jimmy Jax Pinchak (Peter Wiggin)

What he's up to: Making music! Obviously a guy of many talents, Pinchak recently gave his fans a preview of one of his new songs, "Tell Me." Check it out:



What do you guys think? We can't wait to hear more from him! 

Our favorite recent tweet: @JimmyJaxPinchak Bought this awesome pocket sized Constitution at the capital the other day! Already read it twice!

Aramis Knight (Bean)

What he's up to: If his Twitter is anything to go by, he seems to be spending the summer with his family as well as travelling a bit. Here's a fun picture of him representing Ender's Game in NYC this past weekend:

Twitter


If you've already seen The Dark Knight Rises, you may have noticed that Knight played the young boy who swiped an apple and was rescued by Anne Hathaway's character Selina aka Catwoman. Did everyone spot him?

Fun Fact: Knight recently admitted on Twitter that he was named after Aramis from The Three Musketeers!

Our favorite recent tweet: @AramisKnight88 Loved the letter and Olivia is going to where that necklace all the time! Thanks! @OliviaGallegos7  pic.twitter.com/ZfSTURAy

Garrett Warren (Stunt Coordinator)

Everyone should know who this man is. Previously having worked on huge films such as Avatar, Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon, and Sin City, all of the amazing null-gravity action we're going to see in the Battle Room come next November will be thanks to this guy.

As Orson Scott Card said in his set visit report: "[I]f Garrett Warren doesn't get a special technical Oscar for his achievement on this film, then there truly ain't no justice."

Here's a picture of him and a shaved ice:

(Tumblr)


Right?

What he's up to: According to his Twitter, Warren is headed back to NOLA this fall to work on another film, possibly Kitamura's 2013 action film Marble City, which is reported to be filming in Louisiana.

Our favorite recent tweet: @Gwarren333 I miss you more! All of the Enders cast. You have become family. I'm home in one week. Let's get everyone together!!!

Make sure to give him a follow and wish him well!

---

The Nets Report is an Ender News series dedicated to keeping the fandom up-to-date with cast news and gossip until the movie's release in November 2013. Updates every couple of weeks!

448 days to go.

IMDB Updates: New International Release Dates, Minor Roles

The Internet Movie Database has recently been updated with some new international release dates, an update which may be interesting for all Ender's Game fans in the United Kingdom and Germany:

USA:November 1, 2013
UK:October 25, 2013
Germany:October 31, 2013

These dates have all been confirmed by Summit, and while it's still early enough for them to be changed, it looks likely that some fans on the other side of the Atlantic are going to get a chance to see the movie before everyone in the States. Lucky!

IMDB is also listing some new cast members, all of which seem to have played minor backround roles. We cannot confirm any of these castings at the moment, but we've had pretty good luck with IMDB so far. Check it out:

Matt Cipro:Soldier
Malik Peters:Launchie / Dragon
Yung Swizz'Agg:Sammy
King Hoey:Cadet / Launchie

Photo © Emily Winter
While unconfirmed, it's good to see "Launchie" being used here. Some feared this was a term they would be leaving out altogether.

What may be most interesting about this update is the use of the word "Cadet." While pondering the difference between a cadet and a Battle School student, I remembered coming across this photo from one of the Ender's Game extras.

This is one of the t-shirts handed out to the actors/actresses toward the end of filming. If you look on the right-hand side, you'll see that "Eros Cadets" is printed on the back. Although the word isn't used in the Ender's Game novel, it seems that the soldiers who make it all the way to Eros and thus Command School in the film are possibly given the title of "Cadet," a term used for trainees at military academies such as West Point, USNA, etc. Would make sense!

On the left-hand side of the photo there's a slightly bizarre quote which reads, "While I am no doubt beautiful, I am not your mother." Seems like an inside joke of some sort, or perhaps the individual cast members were allowed to choose what they had written on the front. If anyone knows what this quote means, please send an email our way!

Anyone want to take a guess at who this "Sammy" character could be? :)

Keep visiting our movie info page for more release date updates. And don't forget to check out Ender News on Twitter and Facebook!