Looking for a new youth-driven franchise to succeed its Twilight Saga, Summit Entertainment has acquired the U.S. rights to a live-action adaptation of Orson Scott Card's acclaimed sci-fi novel Ender's Game, with Gavin Hood attached to direct from his own script.
Deadline reports that Summit is looking to co-finance the film, produced by Star Trek's Roberto Orci and Alex Kurtzman, along with Gigi Pritzker and Linda McDonough of Odd Lot Entertainment. The plan is to begin production by early next year.
Published in 1985, Ender's Game is set in Earth's future, where humanity has barely survived two conflicts with an insectoid alien race. Bracing for a third attack, mankind creates a battle school for Earth's most talented children, including protagonist Ender Wiggin, who's led a tormented life. While training in the zero-gravity Battle Room, Ender is revealed to be a tactical genius and the planet's best hope for salvation.
Warner Bros. had acquired the rights to the novel in 2002, with Wolfgang Petersen set to direct. However, Deadline contends that Card maintained "a very hands-on presence," complicating the process. When the studio's option lapsed in November 2008, Odd Lot was quick to pick it up, and in September 2010 announced that Hood (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) was attached to direct. Orci and Kurtzman's K/O Paper Products came on board in January.
The Nebula- and Hugo Award-winning Ender's Game spawned five sequels, as well as a series of Marvel comic-book adaptations. Plans for a video game have been put on hold.