Wolfgang Petersen No Longer Directing Ender's Game

April 21, 2008
Source: io9

Wolfgang Petersen

Somehow we missed the original announcement for this project, but here's a recap. German filmmaker Wolfgang Petersen was originally set to direct an adaptation of Orson Scott Card's sci-fi novel Ender's Game. Now word comes from io9 that Petersen is no longer attached the project and that it's currently seeking a new director. Originally slated to be released this year, the project is now hoping to shoot by early 2009 as long as they find a new director and suitable cast. I'm not too familiar with Ender's Game, but after reading into it a bit more, I'm ashamed to have missed this the first time around!

Andrew "Ender" Wiggin is humanity's last hope. He doesn't know it, but he will have to prevent and counter-attack an extra-terrestrial species called the Formic, or "Buggers" informally. After a fight with a bully, he gets drafted into Battle School, where the best of the best wind up to become highly trained combatants. Ender faces many challenges in this school, makes friends and enemies, and must learn to survive alone in order to save earth, but he's also in danger of losing his sanity throughout the entire story. This is Ender's Game. The first book is actually part of a series written by Orson Scott Card. You can pick them up on

Despite Petersen is no longer directing, the series' author Orson Scott Card is still writing the script. He's already finished a draft and is "already working to make it even better," according to producer Lynn Hendee. They're also looking for someone to cast as Ender, but haven't settled on anyone because they're waiting for the new director. "We all have our favorites, but it is crucial for the new director to weigh in on that." And of course, the earlier the better, because this isn't going to be a low budget sci-fi flick. "Ender's Game requires an extended pre-production due to the many visual effects."

Wolfgang Petersen has directed films like Poseidon, Troy, The Perfect Storm, Air Force One, Enemy Mine, and Das Boot previously. He actually didn't seem like a bad choice, but now the search is on to find someone else. The only problem - let's hope they find someone who can direct a big-budget summer blockbuster on the scale of those films from Petersen's past. I do think this could become an awesome sci-fi film in the end and I hope it keeps moving forward! There's a lot to look forward to with this and I really hope they don't screw it up - although it sounds like Lynn and Chartoff Productions has it under control.

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I have actually been rereading the book the last couple of weeks and keep thinking to myself that they needed to get this project off the ground, I hope they can find a new director and cast so it can get started. You should read it Alex, it is the first in a series, but the others are no where near as good.

Stephen on Apr 21, 2008


One of my favorite's gonna be hard to pull off some of the visuals as they are crafted very well in written form. I hope it translates well to film and they dont screw the pooch on this one. If done right, it can be amazing!

Chris on Apr 21, 2008


I loved that book. I hope the movie does it justice. And yes, you should read the book.

Reverend on Apr 21, 2008


The new director is the guy who did stealth and the upcomming mummy 3.

Jojo on Apr 21, 2008


I loved the whole series, the first is definately awesome though. I thought I had heard that this was gonna be made into a movie like 3 or 4 years ago, if not longer. I kind of forgot about it and lost hope that it would be.

Nick on Apr 21, 2008


Even though I'd love to see an adaptation of the book, I'll remain skeptical about this. I'm just not sure how this can be a summer blockbuster, without taking out a lot from the book. Having the author work on the script is good. Will have to wait to see how this turns out.

SP on Apr 21, 2008


This movie can't be made live action. It's all about the inner mind of a child and his thoughts and feelings. How are they going to show that? And the director needs to be really experienced with directing kids and doing intense drama and doing big fx scenes. Where are they going to find such a director?

worried on Apr 21, 2008


Ah this was such a fantastic book. I think there's a slim chance they could really pull this off, if they take some risks with the filmmaking. I always thought this had the potential to be an amazing movie, but it'll be really hard to do.

DL on Apr 22, 2008


#7 - Sadly... the only guy that comes to mind is Jon Favreau cause he directed Zathura. But I hated Zathura and as much as Iron Man is going to kick ass, Favreau just doesn't seem like the right guy for this... But interesting point about who would be necessary...

Alex Billington on Apr 23, 2008


Although this is one of my favourite books of all time, and I'd love to see it on the screen I just can't imagine them getting kids that young to be believable in the situations of the story. Anyone who hasn't read it, I envy them. I would love to reread it for the first time again.

Shannon the Movie Moxie on Apr 27, 2008


Ender's Game is one of my favorite books, and I would love to see this made into a movie worthy of an exceptional story, but I am sorry to say that this project has all the hallmarks of a failed film. As good as Card is, he is the wrong person to write the screenplay. As the author, he is too close to the subject and is unlikely to be able to edit the story down to a length needed for a vialble film. This is exacerbated by his lack of experience as a screen writer. Peterson was a good choice for director. His leaving - and the persistent lack of a director and a cast - are additional signs of trouble. If I had any say in the matter, Paul Verhoeven would direct this film.

Paul Nicholas Boylan on Jul 23, 2008


I've read this book over twenty times in my life. It is by far the best book i've read. I have been waiting many years to see it on the big screen. I'll understand if it has to be changed a little, but the basic story will still be great.

Set on Apr 7, 2009

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