According to Deadline Hollywood, child actor Asa Butterfield, 14, who stars in Martin Scorsese’s Hugo with Chloe Moretz, has been offered the lead role in the highly sought after book turned film property, Ender’s Game. After screen-testing several young actors, director Gavin Hood (Wolverine) chose Butterfield to star as boy genius Andrew “Ender” Wiggin in the adaptation of the seminal Orson Scott Card sci-fi book series. It won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, and rose to the top of national bestseller lists.
The publishers website describes “Ender’s Game” this way: “Andrew “Ender” Wiggin thinks he is playing computer simulated war games; he is, in fact, engaged in something far more desperate. The result of genetic experimentation, Ender may be the military genius Earth desperately needs in a war against an alien enemy seeking to destroy all human life. The only way to find out is to throw Ender into ever harsher training, to chip away and find the diamond inside, or destroy him utterly. Ender Wiggin is six years old when this begins. He will grow up fast.
“But Ender is not the only result of the experiment. The war with the Buggers has been raging for a hundred years, and the quest for the perfect general has been underway almost as long. Ender’s two older siblings, Peter and Valentine, are every bit as unusual as he is, but in very different ways. While Peter was too uncontrollably violent, Valentine very nearly lacks the capability for violence altogether. Neither was found suitable for the military’s purpose. But they are driven by their jealousy of Ender, and by their inbred drive for power. Peter seeks to control the political process, to become a ruler. Valentine’s abilities turn more toward the subtle control of the beliefs of commoner and elite alike, through powerfully convincing essays. Hiding their youth and identities behind the anonymity of the computer networks, these two begin working together to shape the destiny of Earth-an Earth that has no future at all if their brother Ender fails.”
Other book characters include Ender’s older siblings, Valentine and Peter. Casting Director is John Papsidera and has a tentative March 15, 2013 release date.
Butterfield has worked on several major feature films: Son of Rambow, Nanny McPhee Returns, The Wolfman and The Boy in Striped Pajamas. Martin Scorsese’s 3-D family film Hugowill debut in theaters over the Thanksgiving weekend.