EXCLUSIVE: Ender’s Game Movie Still Featuring Ender and Petra

Meet Petra and the Battle School Score Board

Ender’s Game producer, Bob Orci, fell in love with the Ender’s Game story when he was twelve-years-old; and almost every cast and crew member told me a similar story during my visit to the Ender’s Game film set last May. In fact, many crew members eagerly requested to work on Ender’s Game – not because they wanted to be a part of a blockbuster movie, but because they are fans of the novel. Not wanting to disappoint themselves, the many hands that helped put this film together ultimately worked to make the Ender’s Game movie three very important things: believable, relatable, and timeless.

Wanting to get the story right, it took six months to write the first draft of the Ender’s Game movie and another sixty-three drafts to perfect what you’ll see on the big screen. Expect changes in any book to film adaption, especially in the case of Ender’s Game. Most of the story is told via Ender’s thoughts. Because we can’t have thought bubbles above Asa Butterfield’s head, many scenes from the book have been altered to develop Ender’s emotional anguish and unspoken victories over Colonel Graff and Major Anderson. Longtime fans of Ender’s Game need not worry that this will not be the Ender’s Game they remember from childhood. The scenes fans love to quote, the violence that surrounds Ender, and Ender’s final realizations will still be at the center of the story. The battle suits, flash guns, and desk tablets are all there; I even held them!

With certainty, I can say that the highlight of my set visit was lying down in the launchie bunks during an interview with production designers Sean Haworth and Ben Proctor. Who else did I meet in New Orleans? I chatted with writer and director Gavin Hood, producers Lynn Hendee and Bob Orci, stunt coordinator Garrett Warren, Asa Butterfield, Sir Ben Kingsley, Hailee Steinfeld, Aramis Knight, Suraj Partha, Khylin Rhambo, Nonso Anozie and so many more. I can’t wait to share my interviews with them and the remainder of my set visit at a later date.

Until then, enjoy this exclusive Ender’s Game movie still featuring Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) and Petra Arkanian (Hailee Steinfeld) eating in the battle school mess hall with the scoreboard in the background. Click the picture for the full size image, or download the huge bitmap as a zip file HERE.

Movie Still 02

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The Ender’s Ansible team has taken the liberty of pointing out 10 points of interest in the still:


1. That’s Dink Meeker (Khylin Rhambo) sitting on Ender’s right.

2. That’s Ender’s bully, Commander Bonzo Madrid (Moises Arias) of Salamander Army, sitting on Petra’s far left at the end of the table.

3. This person in yellow is reminiscent of the girl from the first Ender’s Game movie still. This might be Colonel Graff’s assistant.

4. These students in the corner appear to have two army logos (a red, and a few teal-colored logos) different from the army logos released yesterday. Any guesses as to what armies these soldiers belong to?

5. Based on the army logos on the scoreboard and the gauge next to them, we believe the scoreboard is showing a battle between Rat and Asp Army with Rat Army in the lead.

6. This circle appears to represent a single spherical battle room. Those colored rectangles on either side of the circle are probably the enemy gates. Remember, the enemy’s gate is down.

7. Those white shapes in the center of the circle probably represent the placement of ‘stars’ or floating obstacles in the middle of the battle room.

8. There appear to be only eight students to each army, one commander and seven additional soldiers. There are a total of forty-one students to each army in the Ender’s Game novel.

9. We can’t make out that list on the bottom, but it might be army ranks or the ranks of individual soldiers.

10. Click the picture and take a look at the full size image for an up close of that food. We think it looks like breakfast.

11. Bonus edit: We’ve received confirmation that the student standing in the far upper right is Commander Pol Slattery of Leopard Army (Cameron Gaskins).

A special thanks to Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate for allowing us to share this new movie still with our readers. The Ender’s Game movie will be released in US theaters on November 1, 2013.


EXCLUSIVE: Ender’s Game Movie Still Featuring Ender and Petra — 43 Comments

  1. I have a different interpretation of the battle. I think Rat is losing because i think the gold bar is a counter of frozen soldiers. The higher for you, the worse

  2. I believe the 8-soldier interpretation might be flawed. This section may either be showing the top 8 in the army, or, the orange bar could be a scroll bar/progress bar through the army’s units (out of sync because of differing details of information shown for the winner’s army than the loser’s).

  3. I’m actually willing to bet that the table further back from Ender’s is also wearing the Salamander’s patch. The patches are too similar.

  4. I don’t believe the 8 students per army is true. The table in the foreground has 8 Salamander members and the table directly behind it appears to be full of Salamander members too.

  5. The yellow uniforms must be for the launchies who haven’t been assigned an army. The picture with Graff has other students with yellow uniforms and some yellow accents on the bed sheets. A bright yellow uniform is a great way to make the launchies stand out.

  6. Another reason to assume more than 8 students per army is the fact that you can count more than 8 red dots and at least 12 blue dots in the map of the battle room

  7. I’m totally new to the books, but loving the depth of feeling that is being displayed by the fans, from what I’ve read so far the interpretaion of what Enders world is like to the individual and then does look like in the film will be a very personal one. The author dosn’t go into allot of detail and definately leaves us to fill in the blanks, from what I can see thus far, it would appear that the film makers are trying to meet the high expectations of the fans, a nearly impossible task. Yes the characters are older then they appear in the book, but reading the thoughts of Ender, having them portrayed by somone of Assa Butterfields ability opposite Harrison Ford, can only add depth of character and meaning. I think in the first few pages of the book Graff says he’s only used to seeing things through Enders thoughts and eyes and he is not used to seeing the expressions on Enders Face, I think so it will be for us…a different experience, but one I’m certainly looking forward to the film.

  8. The 8 “people” are probably the platoons (or, toons, in the Enderverse), and the bar below each silhouette probably shows the attrition of each platoon.

    • It’s also possible that they represent standings of each army, or perhaps the leaders of toons (of which there may be more than in the book) or some other statistic or summation. In the book, scoring is based on non-disabled students. If this is the case, the scores show an unequal number of non-disabled students between the two armies, which isn’t reflected with both armies’ 8 shown students on the board…

    • Armenians can be darker or lighter skinned. I know some Armenians that are quite dark and some who are more “caucasian.”

  9. From wha I’ve read, they chose the older versions of the characters from later in the book to portray said characters throughout. This was done to avoid the massive logistical delimma of showing the kids age throughout the story.

    It makes sense from a production perspective but will ultimately hurt the story, i think

    • Yes, we won’t see killers and generals under 10, but to actually get actors that would portray the parts correctlly (and enough of them) they needed to raise the ages. We will still see children having to grow up very fast and dealing with the repercusions of that. It will diminish how they were permanatlly changed by the war, but not much.

  10. Who is that kid sitting to the left of Bonzo with the salamander patch? he is looking at Ender…. either way I’m excited for this one

  11. My grandson”s name is Ender. He is 7 years old and his father was a big fan of the books as a teen. It took a while to get used to the name and we are so excited to see this movie. In fact, I will be flying from St. Petersburg, Florida to St. Louis Missouri to see the movie with him when it opens in November. I hope that it is appropriate for his age. It will be great that he will no longer have to explain how they came up with the name, Ender.

  12. I think this movie could offset some of the controversy that is going to assail it if the production company, instead of just distancing themselves from Card’s vitriolic remarks about homosexuals, but if they actively tried to offset his attacks against that community by publically supporting the gay community in some positive manner.

  13. Could the 8 people just be toon leaders? When ender was in salamander there were 8 toons of 10. When ender becomes commander he makes 10 toons of 8

  14. There is no way there’s only 8 people per army. There is a yellow bar next to the picture of Rat Army and Snake Army on the Board. These bars represent how many soldiers were left. Also, if you zoom onto the map of the Battle Room, you can clearly see many dots in the field. More so than eight.

  15. since when are Ender, Petra, Dink and Bonzo all in Salamander army….? i was really happy with them staying true to the book until i saw this :(

    • When Ender first entered Salamander army Petra and Bonzo were already there. Granted Dink was in Rat army, but they probably want to speed up Battle School so that the final age will coincide (in case they want any sequals). It seems like they will give Ender Dragon army after Salamander and needed to have him meet Dink earlier.

  16. What is the other red army. The studets standing up can’t be in Rat army (they are fighting now), and the black spot is too high.

  17. Petra is supposed to look like a boy, as in short hair.
    Army uniforms are supposed to be more colourful, these look like the dark blue Launchy suits Ender described in the book.
    Ender is supposed to be barely 8 years old when he joins Salamander. He looks 12 in the photo.

    What’s Bonzo doing there, anyway? He’s supposed to be in the commander’s mess hall.
    What’s wrong with you people??

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