By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist January 31, 2011 at 2:16AM
Gavin Hood's developing sci-fi pic "Ender's Game" just got a major boost. At the end of last week, Roberto Orci -- one half of the hugely successful writing/producing duo with Alex Kurtzman - hit Twitter to reveal: "Ender's Game! Us(K/O), Oddlot, and Gavin Hood taking his amazing script to the town! Who wants some?"
The project was first announced last fall and finds Hood tackling the classic novel penned by Orson Scott Card. The story is set in the future, when Earth is at war with an insectoid race named the Formics, and follows Ender, one of a group of children being trained to be military commanders. Wolfgang Petersen was previously developing a D.B. Weiss/David Benioff-penned adaptation of the novel, but that fell by the wayside, and now Hood's come on board for the new version, set up at Odd Lot Entertainment, and is rewriting a script by Card himself.
At any rate, the film sounds expensive and considering Hood's first two entries on his Hollywood CV were met with indifference ("Rendition," the political drama no one saw) and derision ("X-Men Origins: Wolverine"), the helmer will need all the help he can get to put "Ender's Game" in front of cameras. But if there's anyone in Hollywood with the pull and influence to get meetings with decisionmaker types, it's Kurtzman and Orci. The duo behind "Star Trek," "Transformers" and "Cowboys & Aliens" have a solid rep around town and their support of the pic will likely be influential.
Card himself told the LATimes in 2009 that he didn't want a film based on the book to be effects-heavy but instead wanted one "where the human relationships are absolutely essential -- an honest presentation of the story." It's a nice dream, but Hollywood typically doesn't do brainy sci-fi unless it has explosions and with Kurtzman and Orci on board, we're not laying money that this one won't lean heavily on CGI razzle dazzle. It's too early in the game to determine when it will go in front of cameras, but don't be surprised if a studio comes aboard soon.