Tag Archives: Ender’s Game

YA Movie Countdown: How Successful Were ‘Warm Bodies,’ ‘Beautiful Creatures’ and the Other 2013 Young-Adult Movies

Warm_BodiesYoung adult book-to-film adaptations have been in the spotlight for quite some time thanks to the colossal success of Harry Potter and The Twilight Saga, but if you look at the total number of new YA-to-film releases this year, 2013 marks an undeniable peak in the craze. But of course, that doesn’t mean every single one was a winner and that means they all won’t be coming through with us into the New Year.

WARM BODIES

Was it any good? Even though Jonathan Levine’s film doesn’t mimic the experience of reading the book, he manages to take Isaac Marion’s original material and turn it into something fresh, fun and big-screen appropriate by upping R’s wit and not taking the supernatural creature/human romance too seriously.

How it did: Levine’s unique, comedic twist proved to be a very appealing promotional component, reeling in a wider audience and making Warm Bodies the month’s sole YA-to-film hit. This one cost just $35 million to make, but wound up pulling in nearly $117 million worldwide.

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YA Movie Countdown: Some Big News for ‘The Hunger Games,’ ‘Divergent’ and ‘Ender’s Game’

Catching_FireStrong marketing push or no marketing push at all, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is bound to demolish the box office on November 22. However, this is Lionsgate we’re talking about, and if we learned anything while watching the company handle the release of the firstHunger Games film, it’s that its marketing team is on point. But, even though the Web is currently oversaturated with Catching Fire goodies well worth watching and reading, a few other potential book-to-film franchises are clawing at some of the young-adult hype.

Here’s a rundown of some of the biggest need-to-know YA movie items of the past couple of weeks.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is only eight days away and that means the marketing campaign is in overdrive. Google Catching Fire and you’ll be flooded with a wealth of interviews, premiere photos, clips, TV spots and more, but in an effort to whittle down the vast amount of material, we’ve pinpointed five must-know, must-see items.

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Review: Ender’s Game

Enders_Game_Poster1Gavin Hood’s “Ender’s Game” is like a CliffsNotes version of a book that still reads well.

Asa Butterfield leads as Ender, a young boy who’s plucked from his family on earth and enrolled in Battle School in space. There, under the supervision of Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford), Ender is trained to become a leader within the International Fleet so the humans can squash an alien race called The Formics and eliminate the threat of future invasions once and for all.

Orson Scott Card’s book takes place over the course of five years. Ender is recruited when he’s just six-years-old and the narrative concludes when he’s 11. The concept of a six-year-old showing signs of militaristic prowess can be tough to digest, but Card then gives Ender such a thorough and thoughtful build throughout the book that by the time Ender reaches his final exam, you know he’s ready for it. Gavin Hood, however, does not have that luxury.

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YA Movie Countdown: Meet the Kids Chosen to Save the World in ‘Ender’s Game’

Enders_GameIf the Formics attack and it’s up to a group of kids to save the world, you better know who’s fighting for mankind’s survival.

In the November 1 release Ender’s Game, Asa Butterfield stars as Ender, a young boy who’s plucked from his family on Earth and shipped off to Battle School in space to train to join the International Fleet (IF) and defeat the Formics. Ender may get more attention than most, but Battle School is loaded with combat prodigies, some of which he’ll need if he expects to pass his final exam.

While on the film’s NASA Michoud Assembly Facility set in New Orleans, Movies.com had the opportunity to talk to producer Linda McDonough, director Gavin Hood, Butterfield and his costars Hailee Steinfeld (Petra), Moises Arias (Bonzo), Aramis Knight (Bean), Conor Carroll (Bernard), Suraj Partha (Alai) and Khylin Rhambo (Dink) about bringing the team of young heroes to life.

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Your Guide to the “Enderverse”

Enders_GameIf you haven’t read Ender’s Game, the futuristic scenario about a boy whisked off to train to battle aliens can be a lot to digest. Here are the basics of Ender’s Game so you can kick off your studies at Battle School at the top of your class.

THE FORMICS

Years prior to Ender’s story, humans come face to face with an alien race called the Formics. An insect-like species, the Formic social structure consists of a hive queen and workers. The Formics invade Earth intending to colonize it but a human general, Mazer Rackham, defeats them. Assuming the Formics could be regrouping for another attack, the International Fleet (IF) is on the hunt for military prodigies to ship off to Battle School and train to become humanity’s last line of defense.

BATTLE SCHOOL

Kids are plucked from their families all across the globe and shipped off to this military school far off in space to cultivate tactical skills and build an army to fend off the Formics. The curriculum consists of standard classroom courses, free play time and a familiar boarding school-like camaraderie, but above all else is the unprecedented competition that takes place in the rotating room at the facility’s core called the Battle Room.

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‘Ender’s Game’ Set Visit Part 2: Battle Room Basics

Enders_Game_Battle_RoomIf you’ve read Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game, you know one of the biggest challenges for writer-director Gavin Hood was bringing the Battle Room to life.

When Ender (Asa Butterfield) is recruited by the International Fleet, he’s sent into space to Battle School to learn how to defend the planet against the Formics, an alien race that nearly decimated humanity and is expected to return. While there are classes in Battle School, the central element of the curriculum is actually a game.

While on the film’s NASA Michoud Assembly Facility set in New Orleans, producer Linda McDonough explained, “They have two different ‘gates.’ They accumulate points by hitting each other with these lasers. The lasers don’t injure you; they freeze parts of your suit. But if either team is able to get a man through the other team’s gate, they completely win the battle.” Now just picture all of that in a zero-gravity environment.

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Ender’s Game Set Visit, Part 1: Creating Three Worlds

Enders_Game_PosterHow do you make a movie set in the future about a six-year-old recruited by the military to wipe out an invading alien race? If the answer were simple, perhaps Ender’s Game would have been adapted to film far sooner. Orson Scott Card’s novel was first published back in 1985, after which the rights sat at Warner Bros. for 12 years, the film never making it past the development stage. Finally, the rights lapsed and Linda McDonough and her producing team snatched them up to make the movie their way — independently. As she proudly points out, “We think we may be the largest independently financed film ever put together.”

Directed by Gavin HoodEnder’s Game features a young boy named Ender (Asa Butterfield) who’s plucked from his family on Earth and shipped off to Battle School to train with the International Fleet (IF) in the hopes that he’ll be able to save the human race from the alien Formics by using their own colony, Eros, as a vantage point.

If you were keeping track, that makes three key locations — Earth, Battle School, and Eros. Even though Ender’s Game isn’t some $200 million mega budget project, the filmmakers were still hell-bent on creating fully realized versions of each realm, down to the tiniest detail.

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