Confirmed: Viola Davis is Major Anderson in Ender’s Game Movie

Major Anderson is a Woman!

Last week we learned that American actress Viola Davis joined the cast of Ender’s Game as “a military psychologist who oversees the emotional welfare of young trainees. She also helps design the games that test their skills and resilience.” At the time her character was unnamed, and fans wondered whether she would play Major Anderson, Sister Carlotta, or a new character altogether. We reached out to the Ender’s Game spokesperson and finally heard back; Viola Davis will play the role of Major Anderson. If you’re confused, recall that Major Anderson has been written as a female in previous versions of the script.

What are your thoughts, do you love or hate the idea of Major Anderson being cast as a woman?


Confirmed: Viola Davis is Major Anderson in Ender’s Game Movie — 31 Comments

  1. When I first read Ender’s Game as a wee lad, I randomly thought of Major Anderson as a woman in my head, since most of the scenes involving “him” did not directly refer to “him” in the third person (i.e. the exchanges of dialogue between him and Graff at the beginning of each chapter). I don’t mind this at all; having a woman play the part goes well with Anderson’s role in the story.

  2. Now Im pretty sure I have to read the books. The problem is they are in english but I don’t care, after reading all the comments, I know it is going to be worth it.

  3. 1) Is there anywhere in the books that specifically refer to Major Anderson as a male? I always pictured Anderson as a man as I read the books but now that I think about it I don’t remember a first name or a him/her reference to Major Anderson during the books.

    2) However, and I don’t remember this from the books, but on the Enderverse Wiki, it says that Anderson’s occupations include Major and, get this, American Football Commissioner. This would seem to suggest that Anderson is a man (though not definitely), but did any of the books actually say that? Because I don’t remember it at all.

    • Actually, I did just find something. After Ender’s last battle in Battle School, when he left the chamber, said to Major Anderson, “I’ve beaten you again, sir.” So that would be a reference to Anderson being a man. But I don’t think it’s a huge deal considering I actually had to go back into the books to remember that.

  4. I think its fine. It isn’t really vital to the story that Anderson be a guy, and Anderson isn’t really one of the characters you get attached to.

  5. I just always pictured Anderson as a tired old man that Graff continually wears down. I think the banter between Anderson and Graff will have a completely different feel between a man and a woman vs. a man and a man. Also I think the innate nurturing aspect of womanhood will change the feel of Anderson constructing impossible scenarios for Ender and pushing him to the limit.

  6. Demonsthenes, I almost think a woman for the Anderson character is *better* because it gives a greater foil for Graff. The interaction probably is more interesting this way. And even then…its not a major change.

  7. I’m shocked at this announcement, having always pictured Maj. Anderson as a man. Part of that reason, is well, he is referred to as ‘he’ in several places in the books. The already mention of Ender calling him ‘Sir,’ as well as the part where Ender and Graff are about to board the shuttle for Earth, Ender asks Graff about Anderson’s rank, and Graff says something to the effect of “He’s a Colonel now.”
    Also, lets remember that Battle School had few females, and if one of the teachers had been a woman, it might have been mentioned, but then again, it might have not.
    Please know I’m not opposed to the idea of a woman having an ‘important’ role (not that Anderson’s role is big) in the movie, I’m opposed to changing the story.

    • AIAMITB,

      It’s a movie: it will, and (to be honest) it MUST be different from the book.

      The story *will* change…the question will be “how much?” Will the emotional arc remain intact? With the main characters remain true to “themselves” from the book? Will the thrills still be there?

      And, most important of all: Will they get the Battle School right?!

  8. I just realized that Ms. Davis’ hair is cut awfully close, with her sitting there AT THE OSCARS. And I wondered if the reason it’s cut so close is because that’s what is needed for her role as Anderson in Ender’s Game…

  9. I have to say I dislike this change to the story.  Card has clearly stated his books were best portrayed in the medium of audio books and took careful measure to make sure those dramatized performances were spot on as to how he envisioned all the characters.  Anderson is thus played as a man by a man because he is, in fact, a man.  This is just hollywood politically correct crap interfering with the art.  The movie has to have a woman in some sort of power role so lets get a black woman to play the games keeper and knock out two birds with one stone.  I imagine this was one of the things that upset Scott but he had to allow it in order to keep the major storyline intact.  I mean, if you’ve ever heard him rant about how hollywood wanted to give ender a love interest you should check it out.

  10. i always thought of Anderson as being younger than Graff, but just as determined and experienced. At first I saw that a woman was playing the character and thought “did i really read the book that wrong the whole time?” but no. Just a pointless change to add some “diversity” to the movie. You might as well have casted Oprah.

  11. I don’t have a problem with Viola Davis playing Major Anderson – in fact, I think its a lovely idea. What I DO have a problem with is the fact that they’re making the character “less harsh” (according to EW, anyway) ostensibly because it’s played by a woman. That’s a disservice to the book and to the idea that they’re trying to get at (including more women.) If you’re putting a woman in a combat position/a position of power, that’s fine by me, but if you’re putting a woman in that position and then making her character softer because she’s a woman, that’s just stupid. The “innate nurturing aspect of womanhood” is exactly what I think they SHOULDN’T be playing up by putting Viola Davis in the part, but apparently that’s what they’re doing…it’s a shame.

    • Agreed. It is nothing more than a minor annoyance to me that Anderson underwent a gender change. However, I will have a major problem if she turns out to be some compassionate mother-figure, as has been rumored. The whole story revolved around Ender’s isolation, receiving no help and especially no sympathy from any of the adults. They are the enemy.

  12. My life is ruined. Leave it to hollywood to change the greatest sci-fi book of all time!! HOLLYWOOD, IF YOU ARE GOING TO COPY SOMEONE ELSES WORK, AT LEAST DO IT RIGHT!!! Also, Mazer Rackham wasn’t described as having a tattooed face in the book. Why not tattoo Enders face too? Or the whole dragon army? And then switch everyones gender too. So frustrating.

  13. Anderson was a man. ender specifically states after beating the two armies at once “ive beaten you again sir” you don’t call a women sir. big mistake Hollywood changing things around to be more pc army

  14. The book specifically calls major Anderson a he. this is screwed up and i will no longer be able to watch the movie. THANKS A LOT!!!

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